London 2012 Olympic Games legacy ‘non-existent’, says medalist Liz McColgan

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic medalist Liz McColgan has said she fears that a generation of aspiring athletes will see no benefit from any “legacy” from the London Games.

The former long-distance runner, from Dundee, directed her concern to politicians during an event in the Scottish Parliament.

She said little has changed since she was young.

“I still coach kids who are paying £3 to get into a track that has very bad lighting. I can’t see them in the winter time. There’s only one toilet. There’s no drinks available,” she pointed out.

“It’s quite sad that we’ve had so much success at the Olympics, and we’ve got 112 kids who all want to be like Mo Farah, and I can see that the cycle track that’s just 100m along across the park is exactly the same, the swimming clubs are exactly the same.

Were we prepared? No we weren’t.

We are probably going to let down a lot kids who are so enthused from the success that we had. Kids nowadays have got a great access to television. I didn’t have that in my day. They see it and they want it.

I feel the Government, the associations have let us down because we are not prepared to deal with all these kids that want to be the next Chris Hoy or Kat Grainger.”

Ms McColgan, who won silver in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and two golds in Commonwealth competitions, said it was lucky that the 2012 Games were a success.

Speaking as a panellist at the Festival of Politics in Holyrood, she said: “I believe there’s no legacy that I can see left in my neck of the woods. We’re left to our own devices.”

In a direct plea, she said: “I’ve sat on many, many panels like this and nothing happens. Everyone’s got great ideas but nothing happens. Why not just listen for once and take action?”

She was joined on the panel by former Scotland rugby player John Beattie who also complained about a lack of action to stimulate investment in sport for children.

He suggested private funding for state school sport, adding that he feels guilty about the high standards he enjoyed at private school.

“I don’t think it’s a Government thing alone. There’s a whole corporate world that should be getting into this because there’s no way you’re getting more money,” he said.

“The next step to make it work would be corporate money coming into the school system to sponsor leagues, to pay teachers extra.”

The panel also included sports journalist Alison Walker and Scottish Sports Association policy director Kim Atkinson, and was chaired by Labour MSP John Park.

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Financial Times Reveals Welfare-to-Work Programme Chaos

OLYPHOTO - 270

The Welfare-to-Work Programme has been described as “set to fail” by Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham – the host borough for the 2012 London Olympics. In a fortnight, the winners of contracts are due to be announced, putting the unemployed and people on disability benefits back to work. However, Sir Robin believes that there is “a serious risk that some of the best prime providers may walk away”. Out of 11 bidders for the East and South London contract, 3 will be appointed in order to provide competition. Sir Robin said that he is yet to be convinced that ‘three prime contractors each delivering across 17 boroughs will do anything other than lead to confusion amongst job seekers and contractors’.

The rules the work programme has in place could themselves prevent people from taking one of the 100,000 jobs that the Olympics are meant to create. This is because providers will be paid the majority of their fee once they have managed to provide individuals with sustained work for a period of up to 2 years. However, given the short-term nature of most of the Olympic jobs on offer, the possibility of people taking jobs, becoming unemployed again and having to re-start the work programme a year later may prove discouraging.

Sir Robin believes that the government needs to ‘ensure that working in an Olympic job does not disadvantage the indivdual’ to avoid losing out on ‘the single greatest opportunity in Newham’s history to get our residents into work’.

To see the full article click Olympic jobless drive heads for ‘Chaos’

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The Downside of Commonwealth ‘Jugad’ : Mega-Event Footbridges

Grafitti Athens 2004

Graffiti Athens 2004

Images of the collapsed footbridge neighbouring New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru main stadium have made front-page news across the globe and shone unflattering light on India’s Commonwealth Games preparation. The Games, which are due to begin in under two weeks on the 3rd October, have been dogged by whispers of corruption, corner-cutting and a lack of leadership. Such whispers have recently descended into deafening shouts as concerns are voiced, by laymen and ministers alike, about the quality of construction efforts. Newly-erected buildings have been left in varying states of dilapidation due to annual monsoons, and the athletes’ village has been denounced as unfit for habitation.

It is possible that such a high-profile setback may become a symbol of the dangers of rushing regeneration into cities and societies unready for it, given that it has ultimately caused more destruction than good and more haste has resulted in less speed. Similarly, another footbridge closer to home, though still un-built, has also caused destruction. Manor Gardens in East London, a 100-year-old allotment, was wiped off the map for an Olympic footbridge, and though this footbridge may not fall apart, the loss of this historic and green site is perhaps a troubling indicator in itself of progress for the sake of thinly-defined progress.

If the concept, as well as the spirit of jugad is alive and well (the idea that things will get done, by hook or by crook), then organisers may be hoping that what is quickly turning into a Commonwealth debacle is only an exception that proves the rule.

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The Olympic Games – A Gift, or A Curse?

Rohantha Athukorala serves the United Nations (UNOPS) as the Head of National Portfolio Development for Sri Lanka & Maldives based in Sri Lanka, and writes in The Island about the commitments a country should consider before taking on a global event such as The Olympics.

Since the beginning of the modern Olympic Games in …, man has come to believe that hosting the Games is one of the greatest privileges a country could have bestowed upon them.

With the Olympics, comes the promise of thousands of new jobs and business opportunities, the development of world-class sport facilities, and a chance to raise a countries profile-but when discussing this great opportunity, many seem to forget to mention the financial risk that comes hand in hand.

Back in 2004, Greece spent $12.5 billion on the games which subsequently led to 2% points being shaved off the GDP, with some even referring to this deficit as the trigger for the financial crisis in Europe. Now for the 2012 Olympics, the UK is investing $14.3 Billion despite it’s fiscal deficit of 12%, and despite industry think tanks stating that hosting the event is unlikely to have any substantial financial impact.

If the Olympics is to remain a coveted event, Rohantha Athukorala argues that a revolutionary approach is needed in order to minimise costs and maximise gains. The solution that we propose is to hold the Olympic Games 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028, ad infinitum, in it’s original 776 BC home, Greece.

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A local business man speaks out about the Olympics

Lance Forman is managing director of H Forman & Son, a salmon smoking factory, that has been based in East London for over 100 years. In these interviews he speaks about the obstacles his business has had to overcome in connection with the Olympics.

OlympicForman

After having build a brand new factory with a grand by the LDA, H Forman & Son were faced with a compulsory puchase order by LDA and the task to relocate, along with 250 other businesses.

Part 1 deals with the history of the factory and the bad luck the company has faced during the past 10 years.
Part 2 is an account of the negotiations and dealings with the LDA
Part 3 takes a different view on the Olympic Legacy
Part 4 talks about the public presentation of the Olympics
Part 5 is the story of the search for a suitable site for a new factory
Part 6 tells about the last obstacles that had to be overcome when building the new factory

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London Social Forum – Katie Andrews

An interview with Katie Andrews on the consultation process of the London Olympics taking place in east London. Katie Andrews talks about the ways in which there was a lack of communication and information being delivered to the members of the public prior to the bid being being put in for the olympics to be held in London.

To watch interview click below:

London Social Forum – Katie Andrews Interview

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Olympics ‘not worth it’ say Hackney footballers

Spectacle went to Hackney Marshes to interview local footballers on what they thought of plans to turn their pitches into a coach car park for the Olympic stadium.

The East marsh, has a reputation all over the world for being home to the largest number of outdoor pitches in Europe. It is not just this reputation that will be lost if Olympic plans go ahead says locals. The deep community spirit the football games bring to Hackney will also disapear.

As one female footballer pointed out, they could play in Walthamstow but why should Hackney women’s team play in Walthamstow ‘its not right’. Many were highly sceptical that once the Olympic games were finished their precious  pitches would be returned to them.

The East marsh football games have been taking place for over 50 years. They have been kept going through rain or snow by the local community and easy availability of space.  Anyone who wants to can play.  For many who take part, losing all this for a the Olympics, which will only last 3 weeks, is just not worth it.

For more information on Spectacles Olympic Project please visit our Project Page

For Spectacles latest film on the Olympics please visit our archive page.



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