Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 14:38 UK

Bridge opens in Calzaghe honour

Enzo and Joe Calzaghe on the bridge named after them in Newbridge
New bridge in Newbridge: Joe Calzaghe lands a playful punch on his father Enzo as they take a stroll under the gaze of onlookers

Former world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe has opened a new footbridge named after him and his trainer father, Enzo, in Newbridge town centre.

The Calzaghe Bridge, costing £3.2m, is to improve links between isolated parts of the community and the town centre.

Both men said they were honoured by the event, attended by hundreds of people.

Calzaghe, who announced his retirement earlier this year, is currently rehearsing for the forthcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Joe and Enzo Calzaghe were joined at the opening ceremony by Economy and Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones.

The undefeated champion said: "We are honoured to have this landmark structure named after us and we hope the whole community will enjoy the benefits of the bridge and the new links it has created".

Joe Calzaghe
The champion boxer is preparing for the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

Enzo Calzaghe said they wanted to "express our thanks and gratitude to everyone who has been involved in arranging this special day".

The project is central to the Newbridge Regeneration Programme, which aims to make the town centre a focus of activity again and attract people from a wider range of incomes and backgrounds to live and work there.

The scheme was funded by the assembly government, European Union, Caerphilly council and the Newbridge Community Partnership.

'True ambassadors'

Mr Jones said the town and the community surrounding it had "reason to celebrate".

"Not only is the town benefitting from improved community links, it also gets the opportunity to honour a great sporting family who are true ambassadors for the area," he said.

"The Welsh Assembly Government is delighted to be able to support the building of this new bridge and the Newbridge Safe Routes in Communities project that will provide safer, more accessible links for the whole community.

"This is another example of our commitment, set out in the National Transport Plan, to improve walking and cycling facilities across Wales to provide a healthy, environmentally friendly alternative to the car," Mr Jones added.

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