Lambeth’s Portuguese community are cheering the borough’s plans to become a home base for Portugal’s Olympics fans during the London 2012 Games.
Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council and Cllr Florence Nosegbe, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for the 2012 Olympic Games, will meet the President of Portugal and Portuguese Olympics officials in Lisbon this Friday to finalise the partnership. They will be joined by Lambeth’s newly appointed Portuguese community champion Adelina Pereira.
As well as meeting the President of Portugal Mr Anibal Cavaco Silva, the two Lambeth councillors will meet with the president of Portugal’s main official cultural organisation the Camoes Institute, the Secretary of State for Sports, the head of the Portuguese Olympic Committee, the Secretary of State for Communities and a representative from Lisbon Council. Other items for discussion will include Lambeth’s plans to develop new services to support the borough’s growing Portuguese community estimated at over 50,000 people,
which is the largest concentration of Portuguese people in Europe outside Portugal itself. The Portuguese are Lambeth’s single biggest minority ethnic group. Lambeth will show support for its Portuguese residents by flying the Portuguese national flag for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics and hosting visits by Portuguese athletes to schools, sports clubs, community groups and events. Portugal’s best-known athlete is international footballer Cristiano Ronaldo who will be invited to take part.
Steve Reed, Lambeth Council Leader, said:
“I am proud to show our support for Lambeth’s Portuguese community by helping them support their team. This is a great way to join with Lambeth’s single biggest minority population as they look forward to the London Olympics and Paralympics.
“Lambeth has the biggest population of Portuguese speakers in Europe outside Portugal itself. This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate their contribution to our borough while also making sure Lambeth makes the most of the London Olympics and Paralympics.” He added:
“I hope we will be able to support other communities living locally in the same way.”