JASON Kenny’s success will live on in Bolton when a leisure complex and cycle trail are named after him.
Council bosses have announced plans to name the leisure facility at Bolton One, The Jason Kenny Centre, and to call one of the borough’s cycle trails The Jason Kenny Cycle Trail, after the town’s greatest Olympian.
The 24-year-old added to his gold and silver from the Beijing Olympics with a gold in the men’s team sprint and a gold in the individual sprint in the London 2012 Olympics, making him the first double gold medallist of the Games. A huge public celebration in Victoria Square has been planned for Saturday, September 1, and now it has been announced the council wants to create a lasting tribute to Bolton’s golden boy.
A motion will go before the council on August 29, asking councillors to back plans to name the leisure part of Bolton One, the town’s £30.6m leisure, health and research centre, and the cycle trail after Jason.
The former Mount St Joseph’s School pupil said the support and recognition he had in Bolton was “incredible”.
He said: “As the saying goes, home is where the heart is, so it's a real honour to have the leisure centre at the Bolton One complex named after me.
“I am proud of being from Bolton, it is where I was born and bred, so to be recognised in this way by my home town is incredible."
The motion, to be moved by Cllr Cliff Morris, leader of the council, states: “The motto of London 2012 was “inspire a generation” and Jason’s dedication, hard work and success will play a hugely important part in inspiring young and old alike in Bolton to ensure there is a lasting sporting and social legacy from the Olympic Games and his achievements.”
Bolton One, in Moor Lane, opened in February and is a partnership between the council, NHS Bolton and the University of Bolton .
The leisure centre contains a state-of-the-art fitness suite, a community gym, dance and workout studio, and an eight-lane, 25-metre swimming pool.
Cllr Morris said Jason’s successes were “proud and inspirational moments” for everyone in Bolton.
He added: “Jason is a great sporting ambassador, an inspiration for young people across the borough and we think this is a good way to honour his achievements.
“We’ve marked 2012 as the year of sport and we want to build a strong Olympic legacy in his home town that will inspire generations to come.
“We hope his triumph will inspire young people to get active, use sporting facilities and aim for success.”
Dave Singleton, chairman of Bolton Community Leisure Trust, said they were “delighted” with the news, adding: “It’s a fitting tribute to our local Olympian whose dedication to sport and exercise has contributed to achieving the ultimate goal.”
Dr Wirin Bhatiani, chairman of Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, added his support and said: “The whole building is designed to be a central part of the Bolton community, and it is only right that Jason, who has made such a tremendous contribution to sport, is acknowledged in this way.
“I hope the name encourages even more people to go to the leisure centre or just get on their bike and live a healthy lifestyle.”
Dr George Holmes, vice chancellor of the University of Bolton , which awarded Jason a masters degree after the Beijing Olympics in 2008, said: “We were thrilled to see him achieve further Olympic glory in London this year, demonstrating what hard work and dedication can achieve. He is a great ambassador for sport and this is a fitting tribute from the town.”