Keeping the flame alive? Lords debates olympic and paralympic legacy
On Wednesday 19 March, members including the Chair of the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Committee, two former Paralympians and the former Chairman of the British Olympic Association will debate the report ‘Keeping the flame alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy', published in November by the Committee charged with investigating the issue.
Chairman of the Committee, Lord Harris of Haringey, who will open the debate said:
“In our report, the Committee made a number of major recommendations to the Government. These included assigning responsibility for all strands of legacy across the UK to one minister; giving the Mayor of London the necessary powers and lead responsibility to take forward the legacy vision for East London and the Olympic Park; and that Government and Ofsted should give greater emphasis to PE in schools, as well as providing the training and skills necessary to teachers.
"It is disappointing that in their reply to our report, the Government failed to acknowledge the need to look at Ministerial Responsibility. The Government did, however, talk the right talk on the importance of PE in schools. This is of critical importance in building active lifestyles as we seek to tackle the UK's growing obesity epidemic – which costs the taxpayer £20 billion a year. To the same end we remain concerned that the missed opportunity of delivering a step-change in sporting participation has still not been addressed, and it is important that proper plans are put in place to ensure that the major events in the coming decade, starting with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, are leveraged to greater effect.
“We were also disappointed at the lack of movement in the Government's response on a number of other areas. These included, for example, their inflexibility over UK Sport's “no compromise” approach to funding high performance sports, which hinders developing sports, and their failure to do anything to ensure inertia that Stratford International Station lives up to its name.
"Wednesday's debate will be an opportunity to have a constructive debate with the Government and others in the House of Lords about how the legacy across the UK can be maximised.”
Other members expected to take part in the debate include:
- Baroness Grey-Thompson, former Paralympian, Chair of the Women's Sport & Fitness Foundation Commission on the Future of Women's Sport and member of the London Legacy Development Corporation board;
- Lord Moynihan, former Chairman of the British Olympic Association and former Committee member
- Lord Holmes of Richmond, former Paralympian and former Director of Paralympic Integration for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics;
- Lord Addington, Vice President of the UK Sports Association and former Committee member;
- Lord Mawson, Trustee of The Legacy List, a charity concerned with the regeneration of London's future Olympic Park and surroundings;
- Lord Stevenson of Balmacara, shadow spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport;
- Baroness Billingham, former shadow spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport and former Committee member;
- Lord Faulkner of Worcester, Vice President of the Football Conference; and
Lord Bates will respond on behalf of the Government.