• Athletics

Ennis' home stadium to be demolished

ESPN staff
March 1, 2013
Jessica Ennis received a CBE earlier in the week © Getty Images

The Don Valley Stadium, home of London 2012 Olympic hero Jessica Ennis, is to be closed as part of a cost-saving measure approved by the city council.

The Sheffield site was where Ennis learned her trade as a future heptathlete, but the authority said the £700,000 outlay on the stadium over the past 12 months meant it ran at a loss.

Ennis, who used to train at Don Valley at least twice a week for outdoor training, said: "It's a huge shame. To see it demolished would be a massive, massive disappointment.

"We've achieved so much as a country in the London Olympics, so to lose some great facilities sends out the wrong message. I understand budgets and costs, but I think we need to find a way to keep it."

Sheffield City Council will make £50 million of cuts over the next year, and its plan will see the Don Valley close, with the Woodburn Road Athletics Stadium reopened.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson had earlier argued for the rescue of the Don Valley, saying: "That stadium is extraordinarily emblematic and the fact that Jess Ennis was such a crucial figure last summer only adds to that.

"It means a lot to Sheffield, which is one of this country's great sporting cities and I really hope the council recognise that and do everything possible to keep it open."

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