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Dame Kelly Holmes officially opened her Café 1809 Active at Cyclopark, Gravesend on Tuesday June 6. Bringing her ‘lifestyle café’ concept to Cyclopark, Kelly hopes the venue will be both a hub for the local community and a lifestyle destination to attract more visitors to Kent. 

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Kelly is an experienced café owner having run Café 1809 Hildenborough in her hometown since 2014.  She named the café 1809 (pronounced ‘one eight oh nine’) after the number on the race vest she wore when she achieved her historic double Gold Olympic performances in the 800m and 1500m in Athens in 2004.

Kelly’s new Café 1809 Active takes the lifestyle café concept a stage further as she seeks to combine healthy active lifestyles with a healthy social side by creating a welcoming space where fresh food and drink can be enjoyed by family and friends.  Kelly chose Cyclopark as the home of her first Café 1809 Active as she was inspired by the incredible facilities at this world-class cycling venue. Her aim with Café 1809 Active is to bring people together and support the runners, cyclists and fitness enthusiasts who visit Cyclopark every week. Now a keen cyclist as well as runner, visitors can expect to see Kelly on the track as well as in her Café at Cyclopark.

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“Café 1809 Active places a strong emphasis on a leading a healthy, active lifestyle, within a totally inclusive and welcoming environment,” says Kelly. “It’s a place where you can socialise with likeminded people and find the fun, support or motivation you need on any given day. At Café 1809 Active you will always be amongst friends and I look forward to meeting as many visitors as possible whenever I am there. 

“I firmly believe that creating spaces which encourage people to be more active in a supportive and friendly environment is crucial in every community,” says Kelly. “I’ve seen how effective this can be with Café 1809 in Hildenborough and now the partnership with Cyclopark has allowed me to launch my ‘Active’ brand and further develop the lifestyle café concept.”

The café is staffed by local people, and Kelly is also seeking to offer employment opportunities through the Kent Disability Employment Group and to local graduates of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

“We are honoured to be working in partnership with Dame Kelly Holmes,” says Alex Flint, Cyclopark CEO. “Cyclopark and Café 1809 Active share the same values around healthy lifestyles so this is a natural fit that we believe will be a great success.

“Kelly has a high profile as an advocate for a healthy, active lifestyle. She is an amazing role model who will help to inspire visitors of all ages and abilities. The opening of Café 1809 Active is part of a big and exciting year for us,” continues Alex.  “As we announce new partnerships and host large-scale cycling and running events, including the inaugural Big Kent Run in September, I’m delighted to know that all our visitors will be able to access the unique hospitality at Café 1809 Active.”

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