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SBD Global/November 15, 2012/Olympics

Sebastian Coe Frustrated By Failure Of Olympic School Sport Legacy

Newly appointed British Olympic Association Chair Sebastian Coe has admitted his "frustration" at the failure to plan for a better legacy for school sport from the Olympics, but defended London Games organizers against "persistent charges of a lack of transparency in its ticketing operation," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. Coe said that he "regretted the approach" taken to school sport ahead of the Games. A "furious debate" about the levels of investment in school sport "sparked frustration among many of those involved when it dissolved into an argument about the relative merits of competitive sport and physical exercise." Coe, appearing before the London Assembly for the final time in his role as LOCOG chairman, said, "It is frustrating still to have this as a key area of discussion when we should be driving this part of the legacy forward." Former shadow Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell has "called for a cross-party, 10-year plan for school sport," and Coe said that he also "wanted to remove politics from the argument and develop a long-term plan." Coe: "We are going to need to create space outside the school timetable for sport and recognise the worth of physical education teachers in the same way as we did when we needed to improve the quality of maths and science teachers." Coe and LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton were "criticised by the London Assembly" for failing to hand over all information relating to the breakdown of tickets by session and price point. Challenged by assembly member Stephen Knight that they could be accused of publishing "selective data," Deighton said, "What we tried to do is give you information rather than a data dump" (GUARDIAN, 11/14).
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