News archive

20 January 2016 Despite its continuing uncertain future, the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre recently hosted two open athletic meets in the 60m indoor track.


As our latest press release reports more could be planned.

15 January 2016 In the January edition of Disability Motoring UK magazine, CPSP supporter Mark Davidson talks to Paralympian swimmer Susie Rogers about her training experiences at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, her local training venue.

Click the image below to read the story:


7 October 2015 One year after the beginning of the public consultation by the GLA on the future of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, and STILL its future is in limbo. Despite the findings of the consultation being published in May 2015, no announcement has yet been made following its recommendations.

Out latest press release on this story can be found here.

29 August 2015 Crystal Palace National Sports Centre based athletes, Alex Yee and Matthew Threadgold, talk to the News Shopper about their optimism that as new President of the IAAF Lord Sebastian Coe could help secure a long term future of the athletics track, and centre as a whole.

(left) GB Junior Elite Triathlete, and GB middle distance runner Alex Yee, (r) Former Southern 400 hurdles champion Matthew Threadgold

(left) GB Junior Elite Triathlete, and GB middle distance runner Alex Yee, (r) Former Southern 400 hurdles champion Matthew Threadgold

26 August 2015  Following the election of Lord Sebastian Coe as President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, CPSP spoke to BBC London about the need to ensure Lord Coe fulfills his manifesto promise of ‘Growing athletics in a new age’ for domestic athletics at facilities such as Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, alongside his plan to reform global athletics.


To watch the BBC report click on the graphic above or here.

This is the associated press release.

19 August 2015  CPSP Statement

Crystal Palace Sports Partnership (CPSP) have been pushing hard to enhance the iconic Crystal Palace National Sports Centre (CPNSC) for almost a year now – and it seems we may have succeeded in at least earning a reprieve for the now rather dilapidated sixties-built centre.

Following Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch’s recent rethink on a strategy for sport in the UK, due to dwindling participation figures reported by Sport England, the message on just how critical CPNSC is as a regional sports venue does seem to be getting through to those in a position to effect change.

Chair of CPSP, John Powell, states: “We are delighted to see the Sports Minister proactively facing the alarming drop in sports participation in the UK head-on, and launching ‘A New Strategy for Sport’, a consultation for individuals and sports groups alike on how a fresh approach can be taken toward a 2020 vision of a fitter and healthier Britain.”

“Preparations are now in full swing for the London Mayoral elections in May 2016, so we believe any long-term future plans for the CPNSC now won’t be made until a new London Mayor is in office. This is effectively a major reprieve after some plans being tabled barely 9 months ago proposed the entire stadium be scrapped! CPSP have been talking to potential investment partners, and exploring a range of innovative integrated options to unlock new ways of funding a sustainable long-term future for the sports centre, nestled in the heart of Crystal Palace Park.”

“In the mean time we are actively engaged in talks with the Greater London Authority, venue operators GLL, and Bromley Council to shape a positive short-term plan for the centre, which currently plays host to over 40 sports in one multi-sports hub.”

CPSP was formed after a shambolic top-down consultation process from CSM last year. It was found to have relied on flawed usage data, and engagement failed to include many key stakeholders and users in the key formative stages. Representing a cross-section of the local resident, business and sporting community, we are now established as a key player driving toward a positive but sustainable future for possibly the most accessible multi-sports venue in the UK.

– A UK wide public consultation is currently taking place by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Entitled ‘A new strategy for Sport’ it runs until Friday 2 October.

4 August 2015  Following disappointing sport participation figures earlier this year from Sport England, Sports Minister Tracey Crouch declared she was going to ‘rip up’ the existing sports strategy and start again.

John Powell, Chair of CPSP, shared his thoughts on ITV about the lack of investment at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.


In response for a fresh approach to UK Sport strategy Sports Minister Tracey Crouch launched a nine week public consultation, running until Friday 2 October. To have your say and participate follow this link.

1 July 2015  In the July edition of the Swimming Times the threats to aquatics at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre are raised, which critically includes demolishing the extremely well used 25m swimming pool, used daily for learn-to-swim lessons, school and club use.


In an adjacent piece the record breaking achievements of the Crystal Palace Diving Club are celebrated, who for a record ninth time – seventh year in a row – were announced the top diving club at the recent ASA National Age Group Championships in Sheffield.

Click the image below to read the story:


25 June 2015  Athletics Weekly questions why there was a delay by British Athletics in publicly declaring their support for athletics to be retained at Crystal Palace. Chair of CPSP, John Powell MBE, concludes the article stating that an outside track is a 99.9% certainty, and there is now a case for an indoor track, ‘It does seem we are beginning to slowly change minds’.

Click the image below to read the story:


22 June 2015  Chair of CPSP, John Powell MBE, is interviewed on London Live to discuss the future of the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, following the publication of documents by UK Athletics and London Sport which show they both support retaining athletics at Crystal Palace.


21 June 2015  As funding continues to be poured into the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford to convert it into a multi-sport venue, both to host football and athletics, BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan quotes CPSP Chair John Powell, on the consequences for athletics in South London, which could have been transformed had Tottenham Hotspur become the Olympic Stadium anchor tenant.


17 June 2015  Seven months after the GLA public consultation on the future of the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, support from UK Athletics and London Sport has been made public. UK Athletics fully support continued athletics facilities, with both an indoor and outdoor athletics track, whilst any loss of existing facilities are of grave concern to London Sport.

To find out more please read our press release.

28 May 2015  Much of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre (CPNSC) as we have always known it will be razed to the ground if the shortlisted options from the recently published GLA CPNSC Development Options Appraisal Final Report 2015 (redacted for publication) are executed. The report, published on 15 May 2015, is the results and findings from the CSM Strategic CPNSC Consultation that took place in October 2014.

Our full press release in response to the findings can be read here.

GLA announcement via its website

12 May 2015   Crystal Palace Sports Partnership applaud the recent announcement of the creation of ‘London Sport’, which aims to make London the most physically active sporting city in the world by 2020, by encouraging one million more people to be more physically active within the capital. For the first time it brings together a partnership between The Mayor of London, Sport England, and all 32 London Councils.

Working with, and representing the long term interests of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre (NSC) stakeholders, we are proud to be supporting many of ‘London Sports’ in the 5 strategic areas identified as achievement targets for the new organisation:

  1. Make it easier for Londoners to find the right activity, stay in it, and achieve their potential

As a multi-sport community hub the NSC offers and facilitates 40 different sports. These include: athletics, swimming, diving, tennis, football, basketball, badminton, netball, martial arts, weightlifting, squash, hockey, cheerleading and roller derby. The site is unique in its range of sports in South London, and with a host of top clubs and coaches operating there, the opportunity exists for sportspeople to develop through from grassroots to elite.

  1. Get more resources by making best use of what we have, whilst securing more

Yes, we agree! Making the most of the NSC is key to what we are about, and CPSP are campaigning to enhance what there is there already, as a long term sustainable multi-sport community hub indoors and out for generations to come.

  1. Support grassroots organisations by making the sector simpler and better

With a huge number of local clubs and sports specialists co-sharing the venue staying motivated and inspired make the venue unique in South London. The exceptional event nature of Centre attracts many local and regional school club access to discover value and benefits for sports from all levels grass roots and abilities.

  1. Bigger and better workforce to support activity

The centre is unique as it has multi-vendor supplier model.  It hosts Crystal Palace’s largest employer, the Crystal Palace Physio Group, it has world class coaching clubs, international winning London Weightlifting Centre, and a host of other dedicated clubs and coaching staff operating regularly within the centre.

  1. Harness the power of elite sport to create sustained grassroots activity and inspire the next generation of talent

The NSC has 50+ years of sporting heritage! Elite sport was the beating heart of the NSC, playing host to a ‘who’s who’ of UK and International sporting elites, who have inspired generations of grassroots athletes to achieve their Olympic aspirations. Since 1977 The London Youth Games have made the NSC its home.  An event that attracts thousands of aspiring young Londoners to a host of different sports, continues to play a huge role in creating sustained grassroots sport accessible to school children from across London.  It is at this event so many young people begin their journey to emulate LYG alumni such as Mo Farah and David Weir.

London Sport’s Blue Print for a Physically Active Sporting City

17 April 2015   The South London Press reports on the recent month long audit of the NSC indoor and outdoor athletic tracks, organised by CPSP in partnership with GLL. It clearly demonstrates the high track usage demand, which contradicts statistics reported in the CSM Interim Report.

Click image below to read the story:

South London Press article on CPSP/GLL indoor/outdoor track stats

South London Press article on CPSP/GLL indoor and outdoor Athletics track usage

Our full press release in relation to the track audit can be read here.

22 January 2015  CPSP  latest coverage in Athletics Weekly featuring our Chair John Powell MBE.

Read story here: AW_Jan2015

John Powell at the Crystal Palace National Sports Cenre indoor track

John Powell at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre indoor track

16 December 2014  Glenn Lawrence on Croydon Radio talking to John Powell MBE (chair of CPSP) about the implications of the proposals put forward by the Mayor of London concerning the future of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.  Listen here from 8 minutes 11 seconds:

Glenn Lawrence commented on the Stadium for school sports day events: “Such a special place… there is nothing else like that for kids at the moment

John Powell comments:

There are many many sports based at Crystal Palace operating at a real high level producing Olympians of today and tomorrow.

“Look at Crystal Palace.. very few sporting facilities in London, or the Country dare I say, served by such great transport links.”

The consultation process is fundamentally flawed. It was a top down process to begin with starting with the governing bodies, that misfired and didn’t hit the right people at all.  By the time it hit the public and the people actually using the place there was a proposal [options] already in place.”

On a Tuesday training night you often get over 200 people or so using the indoor and outdoor [track] facility.”

 “Leader of Bromley Council has certainly come out very strongly in favour of a Sporting Academy in South London, a centre of excellence… that would be a flagship academy for London and the UK”.

There is a huge groundswell of opinion against the demolition of sports in any way shape or form.”

Keep views heard.  Lobby MPs, lobby councillors. Get opinions in to say we want Crystal Palace to remain as a Regional Sports Centre, a centre excellence for South East of England, certainly South of London, and we don’t want to see the diggers come in and demolishing something that is really valuable.  Not just for the local community but also to the wider sporting community for the South.

The full Glenn Lawrence Show can be listened to here.

10 December 2014  Future sporting stars join fight to save Crystal Palace National Sports Centre


Crystal Palace Triathlete Alex Yee, 16, and Crystal Palace diver Annabel Triggs, 13 share their concerns about the future of Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in the Newsshopper.

10 December 2014  CPSP chair, John Powell MBE, met with Lord Coe regarding Crystal Palace NSC.  John commented after the meeting:

I had a very positive and productive discussion with Lord Coe.  Whilst the report on the community consultation is currently being finalised, he was sure that he wasn’t breaching any confidences in saying that there is strong support to retain the track, as per the options presented by CSM Strategic. 

 Lord Coe also said that from what he is hearing, and he thought the team would reflect this in their report, there is also demand to revisit the need for continued indoor track provision.

 He believes the community consultation that was undertaken was the right process to go through and he was pleased that CSM was able to support this. He was also complimentary regarding local club and wider stakeholder engagement in the process.  My own view, however, is that there will be acknowledgement at some stage that the data submitted through current operators GLL, was flawed and cannot be relied upon.

 I was advised that CSM Strategic is now in the process of finalising its report on the findings of the community consultation process, but the final decision will, of course, rest with the GLA.

8 December 2014  LBC News Watch with Boris here at 27m:20s. Mayor replies to concerns raised about the loss of diving at Crystal Palace NSC:

“…I’m a bit uneducated about this, I’m going to get on to my people about what is happening with Crystal Palace. We are determined to keep sports facilities going there, even though, of course, we now have an additional wonderful world class athletics track at the Olympic Park and indeed, urm  [ a note is then given to the Mayor by a colleague] .. a fantastic, wonderful new swimming pool. Err. I am just looking at… Err.. the stuff we’ve got here about it. I mean, what I can tell you is that we have just finished the consultation and that we will be talking to Seb Coe and to others… about the athletics facilities generally… and how we should take it forward…There are no final decisions taken at this stage. But, Trevor, your point about wanting to continue to dive is well made and we will listen.”


3 December 2014  BBC London News on Crystal Palace with Lord Coe and chair of CPSP, click here.

Lord Coe talks about sebcoe2015 and unveils “…a 10 year vision for athletics and IAAF.  A road map if you like to deliver growth and vibrancy in athletics everywhere and at every level.” 

Asked about NSC, Lord Coe said: “The research that will accompany the final report will show mercifully that people want a track and field facility at Crystal Palace. But, it is a public consultation and it is actually for local communities to decide and prioritise what they want out of their sporting environment.”


1 December 2014  Coach fears for youth sports future in South London Press:


Mr Powell said: “Totally flawed” figures giving a picture of under use was used in the proposals which are to be compiled by CSM Strategic chaired by Lord Sebastian Coe. The proposals could see the pool being made unsuitable for regional diving training, the closure of the indoor track in addition to the potential loss of large areas for gymnastics and external pitches for other sports.

The proposals also include the bulldozing of the national stadium itself which Mr Powell says many people do accept with great sadness due to the creation of Olympic facilities in Stratford, east London.

However CPSP say the other proposals will have a devastating impact on youth sport training in the region.

28 November 2014  GLA agree to CPSP information request, and provide CSM’s interim Development Options Appraisal report for Crystal Palace National Sports Centre of 29 July 2014 (regarding director decision DD1172, news item 4 April 2014).

Crystal Palace NSC – Interim Report (Redacted)

GLA’s supporting brief for this report issued here:

Crystal Palace Consultants ITT v6

Hybrid Development Option

Hybrid Development Option – The highest ranked option in CSM’s report (Section 7.1 Page 54)


21 November 2014   London Youth Games statement on Crystal Palace here.

London Youth Games Foundation supports any developments that improves London’s stock of facilities and gives young people greater access to take part or volunteer in sport.

However, we are concerned the planning and consultation period for the redevelopment of the National Sports Centre, Crystal Palace is being rushed and not allowing for a wider assessment of London’s multi-sport facilities.

The Foundation recognises the community sport opportunities that now exist at the Olympic Park. But we also urge that a legacy of the Olympic Games must be the enhancement of London’s limited facilities, not their replacement.

Multi-sport facilities like Crystal Palace offer the unique benefits for new and elite participants to share expertise and facilities, for example weight training for weightlifters and athletes and tactical coaching for water polo and handball.

We have hosted Europe’s largest annual youth sports event at Crystal Palace almost every year since 1977 featuring every London borough team.

We would welcome the opportunity to have round the table discussion on how to make the most of the existing facility or how best to utilise new space for sports delivery.

17 November 2014  BBC1 London News broadcast a feature about the Crystal Palace NSC consultation, featuring CPSP chairman John Powell.  This BBC news clip can be viewed on this youtube link.

Christine Ohuruogu was quoted: “It’s a shame that a pivotal, memorable and hugely historical icon of British Athletics is on the brink of being taken away” (as reported in The Guardian).


Questions regarding the data collected, and usage on the NSC has prompted and this has prompted the former Olympics Minister, Dame Tessa Jowell, to release a statement: “Ripping up an iconic athletics tracks seems a strange way of preserving our Olympic legacy at Crystal Palace.

Alex Al-Ameen, Commonwealth hurdle finalist said on this BBC London news report on the NSC that “…you need places like this to inspire kids.

Thank you to supporters from CPSP Chairman:

I would like to convey a massive “thank you” to all those Facebook friends who have ‘liked’ our page, people who have signed our petition, in fact everyone who has contributed to the overwhelming support we have amassed in such a short time.

This is, however, just the beginning – please encourage as many people as possible to sign the petition going forward, and we as a Partnership will continue to work tirelessly on your behalf to secure a satisfactory and secure future for our sports centre at Crystal Palace. Thank you so much again!

Chairman, Crystal Palace Sports Partnership

16 November 2014  Crystal Palace Sports Partnership, web version of the report to GLA regarding the NSC public consultation to 16 November 2014:

CPSP Report

Top athletes criticise plan to demolish Crystal Palace track in The Guardian here.

15 November 2014   Christine Ohuruogu Britain’s reigning track and field Olympic champion commented this week:

“It’s a shame that a pivotal, memorable and hugely historical icon of British Athletics is on the brink of being taken away.

It was not just a ‘track’ it was a place were athletes: local and international; elite and club; juniors, seniors, masters and everything else in between, competed, watched, cheered, supported…It is a track holding a myriad of memories for those fortunate enough to be at the National Sports centre.

Grassroots to champions, that is Crystal Palace athletics track

14 November 2014   As the National Governing Body for Athletics in the UK, British Athletics have voiced deep-seated concerns over the future of Crystal Palace. They said this week:

UK Athletics / England Athletics statement re: Crystal Palace

UK Athletics (UKA) and England Athletics (EA) are aware of various Greater London Authority (GLA) proposals for the development of the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace. Whilst the introduction of the Olympic Stadium has removed the need for Crystal Palace as an international competition venue, UKA/EA are clear in their recommendation that the maintenance of a high quality athletics facility to serve the south London population is of paramount importance for athletics.”

Donna Fraser, current President of South of England Athletics Association, and Olympic 400m finalist (4th Sydney) commented this week:

I am absolutely appalled to hear the future plans of Crystal Palace NSC. This venue has been a key training and competition venue for many sports for many years; I not only have trained and competed at the venue, but seen individuals aspire and develop into champions, because of the history, accessibility and facilities of CP. Logic surely must prevail here…two years down the line since London 2012 and all we talk about is the legacy, yet taking away the only all sports venue in the South East is disgusting. Those who make such proposals have no idea of what damaging impact this could have for the community and future Olympians – they need to speak to the people in the know, i.e. coaches, athletes, parents to understand the need for CP and take their blinkers off”.

11 November 2014  At a summit meeting of politicians and key stakeholders at Crystal Palace, the public consultation process for the National Sports Centre (NSC) was discussed. The evidence base used to support the proposed development concept options was condemned as being ‘totally flawed’ by the head of CPSP.  To find out what John Powell MBE, chairman of the Crystal Palace Sports Partnership (CPSP) said, see the press release below:


10 November 2014 Provisional briefing note from Crystal Palace Sports Partnership on the impact of the NSC consultation.


6 October 2014 GLA Online consultation on development options for National Sports Centre.

CP On-line Consultation Paper_061014

4 April 2014  GLA approval sought for the release and expenditure of up to £75,000 of funding to provide consultancy services to inform decisions on the future role of the National Sports Centre (NSC) here:

DD1172 Crystal Palace Consultants PDF

1 April 2014 GLA approval is sought for the release and expenditure of up to £50,000 of funding to provide consultancy services to carry out a regeneration and urban design study that explores future opportunities for the Crystal Palace and its surrounding town centres in light of the potential new designation of Crystal Palace as an Strategic Outer London Development centre with a strategic function around leisure/ tourism/ arts/ culture/ sports and the emerging development proposals within the park boundary here:

ADD169 Crystal Palace PDF

June 2013 GLA publish The Fourth Annual Report of the London 2012 Equality and Diversity Forum report here in the series Working towards an inclusive Games.   See page 44 for Iconic Facilities regionally-significant facilities catering for several sports.  NSC not mentioned in the report.

November 2012 Evaluation of the Impacts and Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games here.  The Crystal Palace NSC was not mentioned in the report for investment in Pre-Games Training Camps (PGTC), but St Mary’s University College was: In London’s new £8.25m sports centre is a pre-Games training camp venue for athletes from South Africa, Ireland and China. Lord Sebastian Coe commented: “St Mary’s is forward thinking and world renowned. It shares the Olympic vision and will have a role to play in sport way beyond 2012.
figure 3-13

5 April 2011 Mayor’s press release that Crystal Palace National Sports Centre undergone a major £17 million regeneration to bring it up to modern athletics standards, click here for details.

South London to benefit from the legacy of London 2012 as the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, confirmed that Team Brazil has chosen the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre as its training headquarters.

London Development Agency Chief Executive Peter Rogers said: “The London Development Agency has invested over £17 million bringing the National Sports Centre up to modern international standards. This investment is now being enjoyed by world class athletes and the local community alike.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Crystal Palace is a world renowned centre for sporting excellence…here.

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