What will the legacy of the 2012 Olympics be for your school?
You will have a vision for what the legacy means for your school and your particular group of children. Weather this is improving coaching, new facilities, new equipment or new opportunities to participate,varies from school to school. The really important thing is that every child benefits in some way, however small.
What is the Legacy of the Olympics?
According to a 2013 BBC survey, 20 per cent of the British population has been inspired to play sport by the Olympics in London. And there are many more important legacies…
When Sebastian Coe and the London bid committee went to Singapore in 2005 for the final vote for the venue of the 2012 Games, they took with them dozens of schoolchildren. A London Games, they said, would be for the children, of Britain and of the world: it would include international sports programmes and scholarships – and tens of thousands more youngsters in Britain would take up sport.
Sporting legacy can take many forms. The immediate legacy of the London Olympics and Paralympics was in the golden memories of the victories, and some defeats and disappointments of the Games. Coe had wanted to “inspire a nation”, and the competitors certainly did that.
There was concrete legacy, too, in the new and improved sports facilities to be found in the Olympic Park and beyond. The permanent venues include the Aquatics Centre, the Copper Box indoor sports venue, and the vast media centre. Outside London, there is the white water canoeing facility in Hertfordshire, and the sailing centre in Dorset.
And then there were the volunteers (Games Makers) – 70,000 people whose goodwill and enduring enthusiasm transformed London’s reputation in the world – an attitude change that was to last long after the Olympic flame was extinguished.
The other change of attitude which took on legacy status was towards people with disabilities, as the Paralympic Games played to packed stadiums and convinced the millions watching on television that the competitors had a different set of abilities.
Improvements in transport facilities for those with mobility issues across London were also accelerated because of the staging of the Paralympics.
Communities too have benefited, urban areas regenerated and businesses have been boosted as a direct result of the Games.
Environmentally, the 2012 Games set new standards – like the low-carbon heating and cooling system for some venues – and provided new habitats for wildlife, for example, the wetland areas and open riverbanks in the Olympic Park.
The whole nation has to get behind the legacy values here because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – Lord Coe
Last, but not least, there is sporting participation. In July 2013 London staged an elite cycle race and a mass participation bike ride. More than 70,000 people took part. The inspirational ability of the Olympics and Paralympics – from the power of Chris Hoy to the courage of David Weir – has seen many sports clubs overwhelmed with newcomers wanting to take up a range of sports. Lord Coe, who has now been appointed by the Government to oversee Britain’s sporting legacy, describes this as “a good start”.
We present a collection of resources and equipment that will help more children get active, in and out of school time, at lunchtime, before and after school and during PE lessons. We also hope that giving every child access to playing sports, trying different activities and discovering what they like to do will provide continuing legacy for their lifetime.
Download our FREE Olympic activity sheets