1. ITV Report

Double Olympic champion Max Whitlock opens new £12m sports arena

Double Olympic gold medallist, Max Whitlock, and the Speaker of the House of Commons officially opened a new £12m sporting arena in Essex.

The Hertfordshire gymnast and his wife, Leah, have set up their second gymnastic club at the arena in Colchester.

The University of Essex hopes the facility on campus will develop future champions and encourage more youngsters into sport.

It was quite hard because there wasn't as many facilities out there.

Even now, the demand is just going up and up and it's just huge.

Ever since London 2012, the slogan was 'inspire the next generation', and that is something that has stayed with me and it is something that I wanted to do ever since the competition.

I think we are doing a good job and can hopefully do it as long as possible.

– Max Whitlock, Olympic gymnast
Max is hoping to inspire the younger generation Credit: ITV News Anglia

Thirty years after studying here, John Bercow is now Chancellor of the University of Essex.

He was thrilled with the new arena, which will feature three basketball courts and will be able to seat more than 1,500 people.

It will also accommodate a number of different sports and clubs and hope to inspire others to follow in Max's footsteps and bring home more Olympic medals.

The Essex Sports Arena will cater for a wide range of activities Credit: ITV News Anglia