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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Sign of things to come
The 2012 London Olympics might seem a long way off but it isn't just the physical building blocks which are beginning to take shape in the East End of London.

David and Rachel catch up with GB 3,00m runner Mo Farah
The London Marathon gave me a real taste of what the London Olympics might be like

Rachel Williamson

The Waltham Forest Youth Ambassadors are a selection of young people from schools around one of the host boroughs who are charged with making sure the younger voices of the local community are heard.

The initiative was set up by Waltham Forest Council and aims to empower the borough's young people to have an input into Olympics developments.

The group have already been asked by the Olympic Delivery Authority for their thoughts on the Olympic Park and have been chatting to the likes of 2012 chief Lord Coe.

And when two of the ambassadors, Rachel Williamson and David Holby, went along to the London Marathon, they got a genuine taste of how exciting the Olympics and Paralympics could be in 2012.

"I've never been to the London Marathon before," said Williamson, who lives and goes to school in east London.

"But since we went I've been telling everyone I know that we should go next year.

"The atmosphere makes it really special, everyone is so friendly and in such good spirits. When the winners came down the final stretch and through the finish line it was so exciting.

"It gave me a real taste of what the London Olympics might be like but it will be so much bigger than just the marathon.

"There were loads of people, but when the Olympics and Paralympics come here, there will be thousands more people watching."

Holby, also from east London, added: "The marathon was very inspiring, to see all types of people come together and help to raise money for charities.

"But it was also inspiring to see such a large amount of British people coming to support the runners.

"The crowds began to cheer very loudly when the first wheelchair racer who came through was from Britain, and then went ecstatic when the first women wheelchair racer was from Britain too.

"It was inspiring to see such a large amount of British people coming to support the runners

David Holby

"The excitement carried on through into the men's race, one of the best in the London Marathon's history and the day continued with great costumes ranging from Elvis Presley to two trees and from burglars to tea cakes."

The day was another example the Youth Ambassadors can tell their contemporaries about - to show the Olympics can provide the lasting legacy that was the cornerstone of the winning bid.

And with such a big part to play, it is a role the group are clearly relishing.

"We get to input into the plans for the Olympics and feedback to mainly young people from our area about what we do and what the Olympics will bring to our area - before, during and after 2012," says Williamson.

"I feel quite proud to have a role like this.

"The marathon was a good opportunity to see first hand how much time and effort is put into the event and we would definitely like to be involved with volunteering in the future, maybe even running in the London Marathon one day.

"It was such a fun day and seeing everyone's faces as they crossed the finishing line was truly inspiring!"



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