In just two days' time our fantastic City will embark on what I am certain will be the most successful Olympic and Paralympic Games to date.
The Games will see a record 205 countries and 14,700 athletes participating in 46 Olympic and Paralympic sports across 34 venues. 2012 will also see the start of the tangible realisation of the promises made by Lord Coe on behalf of us all in 2005 Singapore and what they mean for future generations.
As I watch Danny Boyle's opening ceremony on Friday, I'll be proud to be British and, as a born-and-bred Londoner, I'll be proud of our city. But most of all, I'll be proud for east London, because I know what 2012 and its legacy means for this area and the wonderful, eclectic people that I have come to know and feel so passionate about.
Our Joint-Chairmen, David Sullivan and David Gold, both originated from the area and often used to tell me of the pull of the East End and its people. I could not ever fully comprehend just how special the area was until they achieved their lifelong ambition of running West Ham United - their boyhood club - and put me at the helm in January 2010.
Since then it is no secret that I have spent two and a half years dedicated to a project that would see West Ham United occupy the Olympic Stadium and make it our home post-Games. As has been well documented, the first process collapsed under threat of legal challenge, but our beliefs remain unchanged.
We have never lost sight of our vision to play our part, along with the Stadium's major stakeholders, to ensuring that the Stadium grows into a multi-use destination that serves east London and of which the whole nation can be proud.
For my Board and I, shaping legacy success has been the key factor in continuing to pursue our interest despite the many twists and turns. Nobody is better placed to deliver the legacy for London than West Ham United - we have been delivering legacies for London since our formation as Thames Ironworks FC back in 1895. Indeed, this is an intrinsic part of our brand identity - 'Moore than a Football Club - Since 1895 rooted in London, working with and for the community'.
It is anticipated that during the 2012 Games over 1 million people will visit the Olympic Stadium but the showcase must not stop here. Our proposal would ensure a vibrant, busy Stadium immediately upon the opening of the Park in 2014. We would seek to act as the catalyst to galvanise the park.
We want to embrace our supporters and the wider community of east London from the outset and really take them with us. We are proud that of the 850,000 West Ham United supporters regularly communicating with us, over 500,000 of them are from east London and the surrounding area. This is our community and it is a community we work hard to serve.
The award-winning West Ham United Community Sports Trust has been delivering services in east London and Essex since the early 1990s - specifically targeting some of the most deprived boroughs in the country. Our locally mentored coaches already teach 17 of the 26 Olympic sports. A move to the Olympic Stadium would enable us to expand on the established links and award-winning programmes already in place at an exponential rate.
We estimate that we would bring well over 1 million people a year to the park. Prosperity would be provided through the offer of a near 100 year sustainable partnership that would ensure a return on the public investment that has ALREADY been committed.
West Ham United already has an established workforce from the local boroughs but we would look to substantially add to this offering in the region of 700 additional full and part time positions. In addition to what we bring to Stratford, our proposal if implemented will deliver the much needed regeneration of Upton Park, in line with the needs of its existing community.
As a businesswoman the commercial benefits of our proposed addition to the Olympic Park do not escape me. Bringing Premier League football to the park would offer untold exposure to all of us. The Premier league is watched in over 650 million homes in 212 territories by a TV audience of 4.7bn billion people, meaning West Ham United would bring continued global interest to the Park and surrounding area.
Our vision is not solely held by us however. We have had plenty of support along the way as we look to stand up for the promises made for London back in 2005. Indeed, Lord Coe himself said when we first began our journey in 2010 that our bid 'lives with the commitment we made back in Singapore'.
We remain well supported by our friends and partners in the athletics community. Ed Warner, Chairman of UK Athletics commented recently: "We have long been enthused by what a club of West Ham's stature and local heritage can bring to this multi-purpose venue, and in particular by your own team's plans to be part of a vibrant future for the Stadium and the Olympic Park. This is why we endorse your bid."
We have also received backing from community leaders, business leaders, representatives of the arts community and key figures from within football.
I am excited at the prospect of being able to at last communicate the full extent of our proposals to our patient and loyal supporters. What I am able to say though, is that if we were to be fortunate enough to be granted the chance to do so, West Ham United would provide a world-class stadium that would be their home, showcasing first-class facilities and offering affordable, accessible , elite football as well as huge opportunities for growth both on and off the pitch. Put simply, we believe it is the best move for our fans and the best chance for us to grow as a club.
But our vision for the Stadium has always focused beyond what it can do for us and more on what we can do for it. The 2012 Games will inspire a generation. Those moments which capture what can be achieved when you really set out to achieve your goals must not be lost. The Stadium should remain the Olympic Park's jewel in the crown watched by the world.
Friday's spectacular event performed to a capacity crowd will mark the start of what promises to be a momentous event that the whole world will be watching. But the showcase must not stop there.
We know that using the Stadium as our home will bring with it huge responsibility but we will take on with pride the mantle of what that means in terms of giving something back to our community and playing our part in delivering the promises made in 2005.
I hope Londoners will wish to get behind us when it is time to pass the baton and let legacy live on, but for now enjoy playing your part in this spectacular piece of history.
Thank-you all and best wishes,