We constructed a first class athletics facility at Stowe School which was to become a pre-games training centre for the 2012 Olympic Games.

McArdle Sport Tec was chosen to construct an eight lane athletics track in the sensitive surrounding of a National Trust property at Stowe School. The track was surfaced with a specially selected green system to meet the requirements of the school and the National Trust. The track was built to a very high specification, on budget and to the highest quality standards.

Lord Coe spent the afternoon at Stowe School observing its sports day and officially opening the new athletics area, which in both colour and environment friendliness, is the only green track in the UK. It has been selected as a pre-games training camp for London 2012 and it is hoped the facilities will be used by nearby residents as well as pupils at the school.

Lord Coe said: “These are fantastic facilities and it’s such a stunning setting. It’s a great asset to the school and the school is clearly a great asset to the community. Particularly in track and field, Stowe has a strong place in our history… The idea of the pre-games training camps is that national committees and federations will base themselves in the UK before the games so that they prepare their athletes properly and make use of these kind of facilities. We would not have put Stowe forward as a training camp had the facilities not been world class.”

The new track cost more than £800,000 which was raised through contributions from Old Stoics. It has been named in honour of Dr David Donaldson, who was a teacher and coach at Stowe from 1957 until 1973 and helped pupils set records which still stand today. Also at yesterday’s event were decathlete Neil Crossley, Stowe’s new athletics coach who hopes to compete in London 2012, and Old Stoic Marilyn Okoko, who raced for Britain in the 4x400m women’s Olympic relay team in Beijing.

Dr Anthony Wallersteiner, headmaster of Stowe School, said: “This is the only running track of its kind between Milton Keynes and Oxford and it’s a facility for anyone with athletic ambitions. It gives us this wonderful new facility which will be suitable for young people to train and also for training before the next Olympics.”

“It’s an enormous leap forward for the school, both in terms of us as a centre of excellence for athletics and also in creating a community facility.”

Lord Sebastian Coe

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