London sporting legacy might be an over-promise
The London Olympics ended with a spectacular show - but will it leave an equally spectacular legacy? Photo: houghtonbirds/Flickr
15.08.2012By Play the Game
The claim that a London Games would inspire a generation to do more sport is in danger of being an over-promise, writes the Guardian’s David Conn.
After the Olympic dust settles and the euphoria ebbs out, Britain is still left with the same problems of sedentary culture, junk food, haggard sports facilities, too few opportunities, local authority cuts, and, for young people, inequality between private and state schools.
The slashing of the £162m funding of school sport in 2010 has received a lot of criticism in the context of developing a genuine sporting legacy, but encouraging adults to be more active is a greater challenge, writes Conn.
In contrast to politicians who are claiming that the Olympics will inspire many Brits to take up sport, Sport Minister Hugh Robertson recognises that driving up participation is very difficult:
"We have held an Olympics which surpassed expectations; it has produced an amazing stimulus, and a new generation of sporting heroes. However anybody who remotely pretends it will be easy to increase general participation in sport is kidding themselves," writes Conn.
So unless the Government comes up with a plan to fight the things that are pulling people into inactivity and transforming Britain’s post-Olympic sporting landscape, Britons who supported the Games so wholeheartedly may come to feel short-changed by its legacy, concludes Conn.