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SBD Global/January 28, 2013/Olympics

Olympic Legacy 'In Tatters' As School Sport Funds Dry Up Only Six Month After Games

The Labour Party has claimed that the government’s "failure to back school sport has left the Olympic legacy 'in tatters' just six months after the triumphant London Games," according to Sam Marsden of the London TELEGRAPH. Teachers and parents "have expressed dismay that Ministers are squandering the enthusiasm and passion generated by the success of last summer’s Olympics." Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg claimed that the government "had failed to build on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity created by the 2012 Games to improve children’s fitness." He said, "Six months on, the Olympic legacy is in tatters" (TELEGRAPH, 1/27).

In London, Toby Helm reported former Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell "has appealed for urgent cross-party talks to halt a decline in school sport." Jowell said, "These findings are very worrying but not surprising. But it is not too late to rescue the legacy. This government has got itself into a terrible bind by shutting down a world-class system of School Sport Partnerships and now pride is the only thing that is stopping them putting things back on course." At last summer's Games, Team GB won a record medal haul, "inspiring hopes of a surge in sporting participation and government action to boost the legacy." Six months later, 59% of parents said that "they have either seen a decline or no improvement in government support." Only 24% said that "support has increased" (GUARDIAN, 1/26).
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