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- 18 November 2013 00:00
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London 2012 legacy must be responsibility of one Government Minister says House of Lords Committee
The House of Lords Select Committee charged with investigating the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has warned that it is in huge "danger of faltering” under the Government’s present arrangements while they have called for a single Minister to have overall responsibility on the issue.
The Committee, chaired by Lord Harris of Haringey, have now published their report titled ‘Keeping the flame alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy’.
The report was compiled after the Committee took evidence from a number of high-profile individuals in recent months including former London 2012 chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Maria Miller.
The report stresses that consistent leadership is needed on legacy issues and calls for responsibility and powers for an Olympic and Paralympic legacy in East London to be given to Mayor of London.
"It is clear to everyone that the Olympic and Paralympic Games were an outstanding success, both for the country and for British sporting achievement,” Lord Harris told Community Sport Network.
"However, since the Games, the same political impetus and agreed deadlines no longer exist and many aspects of legacy are in danger of faltering, whilst some have fallen by the wayside.
"There is confusion on the time-frames and targets involved in delivery and a lack of clear ownership of legacy as a whole.
"To this end, we are recommending that one Government minister should be given overall responsibility for all strands of legacy across the UK.
"We also believe that the Mayor of London should be given the necessary power and lead responsibility to take forward the legacy vision for East London and the development of the Olympic Park.”
In the wide-ranging report, the Committee also calls for more coherent plans at grassroots level to increase participation levels.
"We have seen little evidence that a general post-Games step change in participation across the UK has materialised,” said Lord Harris.
"Whilst some sports have performed well, many others were unprepared for capturing the enthusiasm of the Games.
"We call on the Government urgently to develop action plans to ensure that the forthcoming decade of major sports events can be leveraged to create the step change.
"Central to these plans should be efforts to increase the availability of adequate facilities and specialist coaches.
"We need to ensure that facilities at grassroots level are suitable for a broader base of people, particularly disabled people in order to capitalise on the real inspiration provided by the Paralympic Games.”
The report also calls for a bigger commitment to school sport.
"We are calling on the Department for Education and Ofsted to give greater emphasis to PE in schools and to ensure that teachers have the training and skills necessary to carry this through, particularly at primary level,” said Lord Harris.
"At a time when the UK faces an obesity epidemic, encouraging more physically active lives is of critical importance, and school is where lifelong habits will be set.
"What is clear is that there has so far been only limited progress in building on the opportunities that the Games afforded in areas such as sports participation, transport, volunteering and regeneration.
"With the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year and the Rugby World Cup in 2015, hope is not yet lost, and having one person charged with the responsibility of ensuring a nation is inspired, will give us our best chance yet.”
To view the full report, Click Here
To view the full report, Click Here