Football has come home! England’s victory in the final of Euro 2022 was one of those great sporting moments when everyone will remember where they were when history was made. I watched the match on the free big screen, which was set up in the stunning grounds of Canons House in Mitcham and the atmosphere was incredible as we witnessed the Lionesses achieving their goal of becoming European Champions.
I hope that this fantastic teamwork will inspire women and girls in the crowd to get involved in the beautiful game and hopefully some of them will go on to become the next generation of footballers and bring victory home to our own great sporting borough.
We want to celebrate more home-grown sports stars like 400 metre hurdler Chris McAlister from Merton who is competing in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
We already have a variety of thriving sports clubs across the borough, many of which are helping to develop the raw talent and ability of our young people with a dream to represent their country in international competitions.
I have appointed the first ever cabinet member with responsibility for sports improvement, Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, whose task is to support these groups and to create even more sporting opportunities for everyone, whatever their current level of fitness.
Whether you are a complete beginner, a lapsed exerciser or want to step up your fitness regime with a new activity, there is something for everyone here in Merton. I am proud to live in one of London’s greenest boroughs, which has an abundance of parks and green spaces – the perfect places for a casual kickabout, a team game or a Park Run, like the one held on Figges Marsh where I volunteer. There are also a range of activities to choose from at our leisure centres in Morden, Wimbledon and at the Canons in Mitcham, watersports at the lake in Wimbledon Park, plus sports pitches and courts dotted across the borough.
There is also plenty of inspiration in our My Merton Summer Guide on how you and your family can enjoy the holidays during the summer.