Friday 2 December 2011
LEGACY? WHAT LEGACY?
Laugh...? It's difficult not to.
The London Olympics, which have cost, and will continue to cost, the whole of the UK many billions, which have rendered almost nothing to any part of the UK except England, which have rendered precious little to anywhere in England outside of London, had one target which might have been of some use to the rest of us.
As a part of the original bid there was a pledge to increase participation in sport, not just in London, not just in England, but around the UK.
Guess what? The pledge has been abandoned... because the number of people participating in sport has actually declined in the run up to the games.
It's hard to see why the committee thought that the fact that the Olympics were to be held in London would increase sporting activity anywhere, even in London, unless vast sums of money were pumped into sport at a grass-roots level.
Outside of England that is the remit of other governments which have different priorities and strained budgets to deal with them.
But even inside England, I have read of little to suggest that sporting facilities have improved or that massive coaching plans are under way.
Indeed the Olympics has been, or will only be felt most places, including in Scotland, because a few low level events will be held outside the English capital, that somewhere within a hundred or so miles of you there will be chance to see the Olympic torch. (It will be in the park at the bottom of my road, and I won't so much as move a muscle to look out of the window to see it. It's hard to imagine folk driving miles to enjoy it).
Of course one thing that everywhere has experienced is a considerable reduction in charity income from the Lottery, as this money has been redirected to London. That has endeared the games and their purpose no end, to many of us .
Given that in a city where sporting facilities are desperately needed (Edinburgh), the Olympics committee were prepared to spend £200,000 on inappropriate advertising, rather than a running track or a boxing ring or a few part time coaches, it's not hard to see why this condition of winning the games has been swept under the carpet.
Still, it's safe now. The International Olympics Committee can hardly take them back and give them to Paris (which wouldn't want them anyway!)