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Lack of Olympic legacy?


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Old 14-06-2013, 21:29
Mark F
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/ju...rt-of-comments

Papers seem to suggest so..do you feel the same?

Is it down to the poor weather we've had and of course money hasn't been kind to everyone so many have had to look after the pennies.

Can anything be done or is it just a case of the usual "fair weather" feel good factor supporters who only watch sports for the big occasions but maybe not being interested in taking up active exercise themselves?

What about those under 18?
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Old 18-06-2013, 20:26
Opaque
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Depends on your definition of legacy.
I think some people expect everyone to have been actively going out and doing sports.
It's not just that though. Some people will always get into sport, some won't. The numbers will change a bit I'm sure but really I see it more as a psychological thing for the nation as well as using the facilities created for the Olympics and Paralympics (sport and rail and park etc). And I'm sure the viewing figures for sporting events have already gone up which is another example.

The impact of the games for everyone whether they watched it on tv or were there int he stadiums was massive. Personally I don't think anything will ever be able to match the experiences I had at the Olympics and especially the Paralympics. The legacy of that feeling is a massive thing. I wasn't going to suddenly take up Hockey or swimming but I've got more involved in other things because of it.

Thinking legacy is just the number of little kiddies and overweight 40 year olds playing sports after 2012 is underestimating what impact the games had on this country and it's lazy journalism.
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Old 18-06-2013, 23:23
mlayzell
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I was one of those overweight 40 year olds, now for the last 10 months I have gone to the gym and lost 2 1/2 stone

Being fit/active is a personal lifestyle choice, not for everybody and should not be forced on anyone!
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Old 20-06-2013, 13:55
Opaque
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Well done
It's good to stir some people into doing things (as I said it's had other effects on me) but the expectation that that was the whole point of 'legacy' is wrong.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:43
Sylvester2007
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Certainly in my area (south west), nothing has been mentioned about the Olympics for ages and funding has been cut in all youth areas that I work in.

I also haven't noticed an increased number of participants at my local gym, either.

Maybe in some areas the legacy lives on, but nowhere that I know of.
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Old 08-07-2013, 20:00
Meepers
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I think people are expecting far far too much. You have to look at near neighbours, ie previous Games, and London is light years ahead of almost all of them. Its got a legacy that hasnt resulted in a massive Olympic park being semi derelict, with nothing more than a mild tourist attraction interest, It has found sustainable uses for all the venues, including the ancillary buildings like the media centre.

Were the Games going to create a sudden overnight surge in sport? No. And people were deluding themselves if they thought it was. It has a created a base of interest in sports, and a platform to build on. Could more be done? Yes But is London in a much better place than previous Games? Certainly.
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Old 08-07-2013, 20:04
jeffiner1892
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In terms of funding for sports it might take a few Games to see that. Be interesting to see if the Team GB performance in 2024 is similar to that of Australia last year.
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Old 08-07-2013, 22:12
Opaque
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Well said Meepers. And even if more money was pumped into sports you can't MAKE them take part. As a legacy in the local area the Copper Box will be open soon so that's a nice solid bit of legacy if someone has to see something concrete.
When there are more sporting events in the stadium, that'll be another great example.
Look at our successful Olympians and Paralympians. They didn't all train in top of the range training centres, didn't have flash tracks when they left school to run on. Their parents made sacrifices, they worked hard, they made use of local facilities that still exist (private gyms, working on the streets etc) and look what happened to them!

The legacy is not about taking part in sports.

Funding in sports doesn't guarantee future improvement either. Not if someone else if better than you. You could chuck millions at a sport but if the Chinese are just better than our athletes there is nothing you can do about that.
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Old 08-07-2013, 22:52
rfonzo
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Well said Meepers. And even if more money was pumped into sports you can't MAKE them take part. As a legacy in the local area the Copper Box will be open soon so that's a nice solid bit of legacy if someone has to see something concrete.
When there are more sporting events in the stadium, that'll be another great example.
Look at our successful Olympians and Paralympians. They didn't all train in top of the range training centres, didn't have flash tracks when they left school to run on
. Their parents made sacrifices, they worked hard, they made use of local facilities that still exist (private gyms, working on the streets etc) and look what happened to them!

The legacy is not about taking part in sports.

Funding in sports doesn't guarantee future improvement either. Not if someone else if better than you. You could chuck millions at a sport but if the Chinese are just better than our athletes there is nothing you can do about that.
I agree, it is about an attitude to working hard and being positive.
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Old 08-07-2013, 23:24
Sylvester2007
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I agree to a point, but from my experiences of working with young people, the Olympics has not changed even mindset in my area.

Speaking to the youngsters i've worked with "The Olympics were last year". They've been forgotten, the feelgood factor has gone.

I'm sure in London, the 'legacy' is, or will be, more evident with the stadium usage in the future for example and although London were the host city, the legacy has not appeared to live on in any way in certain areas outside of London. How can it when funding is stopped or reduced every year? Not just funding in sports, but basic youth services that are part of a young persons growth and development, that keeps them off the streets and developing skills and talents in all areas. If you wish for something to be sustained, you need to continue working at it and make things available to all, not just a few.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:44
jaek123456
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To me, the only thing remotely different about the last games were a few things.

1. The opening ceremonies and closing ceremonies were about Britain, the place I live in.

2. The crowd was mainly supporting my home nation.

3. Famous British Venues were used for sports and landmarks seen in the London Marathon.

Most of the Olympic Venues will be used again, some for the locals. The fact they are still visiting these venues means an Olympic Legacy for London, not anyone else.

I feel good about the Olympics whether it's Athens, Beijing or London. London was only slightly more exciting than the others for me.

The legacy will be for the people who were pushed just that little bit harder to follow their dream and will get better at their favourite sport as a result.

I want to go swimming more. In fact I'd go a lot more if I remembered to and didn't have a cold for a week after every time I start to go ! Still over the past year I've gone a lot more than before , which was never !
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Old 09-07-2013, 19:25
Meepers
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The fact they are still visiting these venues means an Olympic Legacy for London, not anyone else.
So no one outside London will visit any of the sporting events? The world athletics championships? Cycling events at the Velodrome. Boxing at the Copper Box?
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Old 10-07-2013, 15:07
jaek123456
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So no one outside London will visit any of the sporting events? The world athletics championships? Cycling events at the Velodrome. Boxing at the Copper Box?
I'm talking about people participating in the sports.

People will eventually go to the same Aquatic Centre that was used at the Olympics. As well as the Velodrome.

Fans of West Ham United have the Olympic Stadium to look forward to.

I'm not saying that there's not a good opportunity for people to visit these venues in the future. I'm just saying that in terms of offering new opportunities for participation in the sport. It's London that got the biggest support in general.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:58
wolvesdavid
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I think the reality is real life has got in the way!

I don't have an indefinate time to take off work.
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Old 13-07-2013, 11:25
Opaque
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Well we all have time to be on here, nothing stopping any of doing something more energetic if we wanted to
That was never going to happen for me, Olympics or no Olympics.
But it's made many other things change for me so there is certainly a legacy.
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Old 14-07-2013, 13:37
Glenn A
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I think the olympics have proved to people in this country that there are more sports than football. I'm sure Andy Murray's gold medal win kept Murraymania alive and was a contributing factor in him winning Wimbledon as he had a new legion of fans, including me, who hadn't bothered with Wimbledon or tennis for years. Also minor sports like taekwondo and judo have seen a new level of interest, the local instructor says more kids have taken it up and a friend of mine was persuaded to go back to judo after watching Gemma Gibbons take silver.
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Old 14-07-2013, 14:31
Mark F
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I know you've said your from the North east where football really does dominate even compared to rugby and cricket. but people surely would have know about other sports in general.

Its about getting the chance to play it in terms of facilities and costs.

Tennis for example is seen as very elite and only for the middle/upper class so kids might be put off but hopefully that will all change.

Will the Government stop building on playing fields and closing sports centres?
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Old 14-07-2013, 15:11
Glenn A
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I know you've said your from the North east where football really does dominate even compared to rugby and cricket. but people surely would have know about other sports in general.

Its about getting the chance to play it in terms of facilities and costs.

Tennis for example is seen as very elite and only for the middle/upper class so kids might be put off but hopefully that will all change.

Will the Government stop building on playing fields and closing sports centres?
Not everyone in Geordieland loves football, most of my family aren't interested, and there are other sports. Athletics with the Great North Run and people like Steve Cram have long been popular, racing is a big attraction, rugby league is slowly developing a following and then Durham becoming a major county saw a jump in popularity for cricket. I'll admit tennis isn't big, but the cold weather over there doesn't help.
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Old 25-07-2013, 02:01
carnivalist
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I think the olympics have proved to people in this country that there are more sports than football. I'm sure Andy Murray's gold medal win kept Murraymania alive and was a contributing factor in him winning Wimbledon as he had a new legion of fans, including me, who hadn't bothered with Wimbledon or tennis for years.
As I said before, the idea that the prospect of a historic moment in British sport of epic proportions, at one of the world's most iconic sporting events, was in any way made more popular because of the Olympics is scarcely credible. I doubt anyone who paid thirty grand for a ticket to the men's final only bothered because of the Olympics.

Also minor sports like taekwondo and judo have seen a new level of interest, the local instructor says more kids have taken it up and a friend of mine was persuaded to go back to judo after watching Gemma Gibbons take silver.
This is all anecdotal stuff. The fact is that the Sports Council released a report showing that 100'000 fewer people were participating in the Olympic Sports it funds in April 2013 than in April 2012. Some of this can be explained away for various reasons but nevertheless it doesn't support the claim of some huge sporting legacy. I'm sure there is increased interest in some sports among young people, who tend to be more enthused in these circumstances anyway, but I have yet to see proof that this is as significant as some people claim, or that it will last long into the future, beyond one or two high-profile sports like cycling.

The Paralympics are a good example of the Olympic effect. Demand and crowds for the Parlympic athletics went nuclear once the main Olympics closed. However I suspect the vast majority were only interested because word of the astounding nature of the Stadium and the Olympic Park in general had flltered through and they wanted to experience it for themselves. For the same reason the event at the Olympic Stadium this weekend will be hugely popular. Now take a llook at the crowds for the Paralympic World Championships this week - they're struggling to half-fill a 12'000 seater stadium.

I was always sceptical about the claims of a Paralympic legacy in the first place. I'm sure the success of 2012 wil make the event that follows the Olympics hugely more popular. However I dount that will carry through to the sport in general.
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Old 25-07-2013, 02:03
carnivalist
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I think people are expecting far far too much. You have to look at near neighbours, ie previous Games, and London is light years ahead of almost all of them. Its got a legacy that hasnt resulted in a massive Olympic park being semi derelict,..
The biggest single legacy of any of the venues, is the fact that giving West Ham United use of the Olympic Stadium means that the multimillionaire Gold brothers and Karen Brady have effectively been handed a muti-million pound subsidy. This is a subsidy to a business that receives tens of millions of pounds from broadcasters and sponsors before they sell even a single overpriced ticket or eye-wateringly expensive hot dog. On top of that the right to play at the the Olympic Stadium is effectively an asset to their business, which will make their shares in the club ten times more valuable, so these rich private individuals are benefitting twice over. Moreover, as a direct result of this deal a small, local, grass roots and community based Football League club will be in serious danger of going bust. I doubt this was what anyone had in mind when they talked about a legacy.


Were the Games going to create a sudden overnight surge in sport? No. And people were deluding themselves if they thought it was. It has a created a base of interest in sports, and a platform to build on...
I follow sport and the business of sport quite closely and I haven't seen any evidence of this. Most of the claims about an increase in sporting interest seem to be merely assertions, without any evidence to support it.

IMO the majority of the so-called interest in Olympic Sports was solely interest in the Olympics - many people I met clearly had little interest in sports in general outside the usual suspects - they seemed to be there purely for the spectacle. I suspect most people could not have named most of the top non-English competitors in virtually any event, including athletics, bar Usain Bolt. In a sense it's a bit like Wimbledon - I'd be prepared to bet that a considerable number of those who attend, if not a majority, have never watched an ATP or WTA tour match in their lives. Those friends of my mother who love Wimbledon, show no interest in any other sport whatsoever, football included. In fact I've always thought of Wimbledon as sport for people who don't really like sport.

I seriously doubt that 2012 had too much effect on the Andy Murray story in terms of spectator interest. It's hardly as though the prospect of the first British Man to win the tournament since dinosaurs walked the Earth would not have had them hanging from the rafters regardless of 2012. It might have had an effect on Murray himself, but that's quite different. I'm not knocking these sorts of fly-by-night spectators - after all, it's only natural that there would be a common desire to attend an iconic event. However it means that while interest in Olympic sports was very wide, it was not very deep. I would absolve the Oympic organisers themselves from some (though not all) of the blame for this though. IMO the Sports Council deserve a lot of blame. Their elitist policy of withdrawing funding for everyone bar the elite sports that have a high likeihood of success next time has cut many sports off at the knees.

Handball is a good case in point. Although it is a hugely popular professional sport virtually everywhere in Europe (In Germany TV audiences are second only to the Bundesliga) in this country it has had no exposure whatsoever. In order to compete at all, UK handball was given a relatively small grant to enable them to form a team - although such is the historic lack of interest in the UK that they were effectively training novice players from scratch. IIRC there are hardly any teams in the UK in the first place.

Notwithstanding this, handball was something of a surprise hit with the public. After people saw it, many realised why it is so successful everywhere else but here and there was great deal of interest generated. However the Sports Council removed all the funding for handball after the Olympics and so the possibility of any growth in a sport that is extremely accessible for most people (no expensive equipment is required for example) was completely destroyed. I suspect that many people might have tried the sport, or maybe even watched it had the funding been forthcoming for it to capitalise on its success. Instead all the funding has gone to the elite. Unfortunately by defintion the elite are also the tiny minority - hardly anybody is going to become as elite athlete.

I myself absolutely loved going to 2012, to the extent that I was genuinely almost in tears when it ended. However the wonderful things about it shouldn't gloss over the fact that there are many questions that should have been asked and that everything wasn't as perfect as it is now claimed to be in the smokescreen of the warm afterglow.

For example, contrary to popular belief, the ticketing was never properly resolved. I even saw a fair few empty seats not too far away from me at the Usain Bolt 200m session - and the Paralympics was plagued by empty seats, even though there was huge late demand. For example, at the big swimming finals day there was a ridiculous amount of spaces, yet there was also an absurd amount of "Olympic Family" seats, in prime areas, half of which were empty. And it isn't the family of the athletes who get these tickets. The sisters of the silver medallist Claire Cashmore asked if they could sit by me as they had been parked way, way up in the cheapest of the cheap seats. Anyone who attended the very poorly designed Aquatic Centre and who were not seated poolside, will know how far away from the action and how ludicrously steep a lot of the seating was. It was undoubtedly beautiful to look at, but function was seriously compromised on the altar of form.

Last summer was an extraordinary time in all sorts of ways, but we shouldn't blithely swat away the many questions and issues, simply because they jibe with our understandably emotional attachment to a magical summer.
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Old 26-07-2013, 13:45
iamsofired
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Take the olympics for what it is - a fun feel good event. Too much talk of "legacy", we have been spolied in recent years by artificially high standards of living in the west and the olympics isnt going to reverse a growing trend of laziness and self-indulgance.
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Old 26-07-2013, 22:52
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Excellent posts carnivalist - keep them coming.
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Old 26-07-2013, 22:56
Mark F
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You'd have to ask how many watching were sports fanatics who would have watched regardless of where the Olympics was or how many only viewed the events based on the increased coverage and success stories to get a more accurate picture.

Of course the key is about a future legacy ensuring people get a chance to play these sports - which means not knocking down sport centre and selling off playing fields

It certainly gave everyone interested a good feel factor!

Probably just as well the athletes and gamesmakers themselves did such a great job - probably saved a few negative headlines for the MPs/Lord Coe
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Old 27-07-2013, 08:50
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The real legacy is that Coe and a few more people have made a killing out of screwing the taxpayer for a few billion pounds.

What was once an amateur sporting event has been corrupted by big business and those with a vested interest in making a lot of money for themselves.

The entire Olympic movement stinks including athletes who will swallow any drug that helps them win.
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Old 27-07-2013, 12:16
Wallasey Saint
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Good post, main problem with the stadium though is what to do with it once the both Olympics/Paralympics were over, look at Barcelona who's Olympic stadium is barely used, allowing West Ham to move in to it prob lesser of two evils, think the Running track is being kept when West Ham move in.

I do think the legacy was overhyped, it's daft that one legacy from the games is one of the stadiums[Don Valley] which one of the Gold Medalists trains at is to be closed & demolished with no replacement venue.
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