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Making the most of our ‘home’ Games

Olympic success at our home Games will come from a number of dimensions. From a high performance sport per-

spective, absolutely our ambition is more medals from more sports than in over a century. Why’s that important? Because the investment into the high perfor- mance sport system in this country, since we won the bid to host the Games, has been substantial and it would be wrong if we haven’t shown that we have more sports that are in a position where we could medal at the absolute pinnacle of international competition. That in itself will provide inspiration and a pathway for more young people to get into those sports and inspire them to follow the medallists that we hope to create at Lon- don’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. The British Olympic Association (BOA)

is committed to making sure that we can go on to have greater Olympic suc- cess at future Games and I believe – with the continuation of government support through Lottery and Exchequer funding, the plans we’ve put in place will give us the ability to make that possible.

London 2012 will be the first truly integrated Olympic and Paralympic Games From a legacy perspective, we’re de-

lighted that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), along with Bucking- ham Palace, have agreed that the Olympic Park will be known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park once the Games are over. The park will not only be seen as a place to live and work, it’ll be a destination for London and the rest of the country, with sports facilities that will offer a tremen- dous opportunity to win international competitions going forward. The Games will also deliver an econom- ic legacy. We’re working very hard with

Forcing sport to over-promise and under-deliver

The presence of the Olympic Games in London this summer, and all they prom- ise and demand, is raising profound questions around the place of sport in our culture, economy and society. We are consistently being reminded

by politicians and administrators that London 2012 is not just a sporting occasion. It’s about national morale, it’s a major business venture; they are the ‘regeneration games’ and the chance to ‘inspire a generation’. These claims illustrate the way in which sport is being used as a tool to

reach goals which do not necessarily have anything to do with sport itself. Some of these goals may be admirable – such as the regeneration of areas of East London – but we have nevertheless forced sport to over-promise and under-deliver. Polling carried out by ComRes sug-

gests that 80 per cent of the population remains uninspired to greater participa- tion by the Olympics, and government targets on increasing participation have been dropped with the dawning realisa- tion that a mega-event will change the behaviour of only a fraction of people.

As with participation, the economy,

peace and reconciliation and even morality and behaviour – sport can’t deliver on over-hyped promises. Sport used to belong to the domain

of leisure. Now it has been turned into work. Paul Bickley director

government and the IOC to make sure all those smaller companies and suppliers get the opportunity for recognition af- ter the Games to allow them to promote themselves going forward so we can reap that benefit for the economy. When London hosts the first truly

integrated Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, it will also herald a transformation for Paralympic sport and will massively increase its profile in this county going forward. Andy Hunt CEO, British Olympic Association

, political programme, Theos

Paul Bickley is co-author of the report Give Us Our Ball Back: Reclaiming Sport for the Common Good, from Theos and the Sports Think T

ank. 6 Read Sports Management online Issue 3 2012 © cybertrek 2012

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