British Labour Party Warns The Olympic Legacy Is At Risk
October 3, 2012
The British Labour Party called on the government to "improve school sports facilities to secure the Olympic legacy" as medalists took to the stage on Tuesday in a feel-good celebration designed to emphasise the party’s involvement in planning the London Games, according to Hannah Kuchler of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, canoeist Jon Schofield and Paralympic sprinter Graeme Ballard were joined by LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe and LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton at the party’s conference in Manchester. Dame Tessa Jowell, the outgoing shadow minister for London and the Olympics who helped win the Games for Britain, "warned that the Olympic legacy for greater participation in sport was at risk because of the sales of school playing fields and sports facilities." On stage with Mo Farah’s physical education teacher, Dame Tessa, called on the government to "develop sports facilities, coaching and the time in the curriculum to allow young athletes to flourish" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/2). In London, Hélène Mulholland wrote that Coe "paid tribute to all who took part, before turning to the former culture secretary who persuaded the Labour government led by Tony Blair to support the Olympic bid and who continued to be involved right up to the closing ceremony." To applause, he told Jowell: "We couldn't have got this across the line without you." Coe said the cross-party approach had been crucial to the Games' success, because it would have been "absolutely unsustainable" for them to become a "party political property," and called for the same spirit to secure a fitting legacy (GUARDIAN, 10/2).