A COMMUNITY stalwart who has worked throughout Wanstead and Woodford has been appointed an Olympic ambassador.
Lord Sebastian Coe selected Ivan Corea for the honour because of his vocal support for London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
In his new role, Mr Corea, of Buckhurst Way, Buckhurst Hill, is using his prominence in the Redbridge community to encourage people to Back the Bid.
He has mobilised support through a variety of channels, including the UK Autism Awareness Campaign, which he established in Redbridge, and Stratford's Dream Harvest Group, of which he is managing director.
Mr Corea says the post is an exciting opportunity to encourage Redbridge residents of all ethnicities to back the bid.
He said: "I'm delighted to accept this appointment. The Dream Harvest Group has been hugely involved in backing the bid right from the very start.
"We will continue to support the London 2012 bid, particularly in reaching out to minority ethnic communities.
"We're very excited about the bid; London is a great city, a city of many cultures, languages and communities. The Olympic Games will enhance this kaleidoscope of peoples so let us celebrate this diversity."
Mr Corea feels this is a tremendous opportunity for Britain's disabled community to be involved as well. There are 15,000 autistic children from ethnic minorities in the London area alone.
He added: "We could well win the bid. We have a nine-year-old son with autism and we would love to take him to the Olympics and Paralympics in London."
Should London win the bid, Mr Corea plans to use his position to ensure that local people benefit from the economic boost the games will bring.
He will campaign for local contractors to be given Olympic contracts providing employment for the area.
Ilford North MP Linda Perham has backed Mr Corea.
Mrs Perham said: "He has worked tirelessly in promoting the London 2012 bid from the very start. His call to back the bid has been heard far and wide in all communities, including minority ethnic communities."