i Editor's Letter: 'Olympic legacy'


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The Independent Online


I spent much of a precious free weekend on touchlines, freezing my **** off, hopping from foot to foot to maintain circulation. I couldn't have been happier – well OK, maybe if it was spring.

I'm not sure my daughter enjoyed a home lacrosse defeat on Saturday followed by Sunday's disastrous South-east regional finals of the national schools netball tournament. There was much "it's the taking part that counts" chatter from me on the way home in a "lame" attempt to lift spirits. She replied, as only a teen can: "Hypocrite! You said you'd rather see Fulham play rubbish and beat Manchester United than play well and lose."

At least she got to play. Yesterday we were at the magnificent facilities of one of south-west London's premier girl schools, the best playing fields for girls I know of in London. One joy was the mix of schools present, from some of the South's most famous names, to others no one will have heard of outside of their local boroughs.

I wonder what the latter made of the facilities? How many are fighting to maintain even the most basic sporting provisions in the face of brazen hypocrisy over our "Olympic legacy".

Small wonder that Mo Farah and his wife Tania spoke out about it this weekend or that a majority of people believe that either nothing has changed or that support for school sports has actually decreased since the Games.

Some will disagree, believing sports shouldn't be at the core of a national curriculum; that other subjects matter more. To me, that is short-sighted, ignoring not just the tangible health and economic benefits that regular sport brings, but also less tangible, old-fashioned benefits of team-building, spirit and character. It's time to stop talking about an Olympic legacy and start delivering one