One of the key legacy ambitions from London 2012 was to get more people playing sport – something that no other host city has managed to do.
That is why I’m so pleased that the latest data from Sport England’s Active People survey shows an increase on last year of 750,000 adults playing sport every week and an increase of almost 1.6 million people since we won the right to host the Games. This is good progress.
Today’s figures have been the combination of strong partnerships, structured programmes and targeted investment.
Sport England has launched a £1 billion Youth and Community Sports Strategy at the start of the year, upgraded hundreds of local sports clubs through the Places People Play programme, recruited new coaches and sports leaders and UK Sport has mounted successful bids for major sporting events – all of this to ensure the legacy of the Games will be long lasting and effective.
However, the sports that show the greatest increases in participation are those that have understood that the way people choose to play sport has changed.
Innovative connected partnerships, targeted programmes, small sided versions of the games and a more consumer focussed approach are all key ingredients of successful sport.
We will always look back with pride at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and remember a summer defined by remarkable sport. But we have always wanted London 2012 to more than just a summer of sport and create the first “Legacy Games” and we remain committed to delivering on our pledge to inspire a generation of young people to choose sport.
Photo by Adam KR on Flickr. Some rights reserved.