i Editor's Letter: Our Olympic legacy


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The Independent Online


I was privileged yesterday to spend a rare day off watching, for the second time this week, one of my daughters in the National Schools Lacrosse Finals at Harlington, near Heathrow airport. On this glorious early spring day, as far as the eye could see on the Imperial College playing fields were girls playing this fascinating, super-quick sport with skill, commitment and sportswomanship (if that's a word – if not, it should be).

I love them playing. It keeps them fit, teaches them to value both leadership and teamwork, and helps them develop coping mechanisms for dealing with adversity. Yes, it's all about the taking part, but my, it's a damn sight more fun if you win.

For this day of tears and smiles all was well in the world of these 15-year-olds, but I am all too aware that they are privileged. They go to a girls' school that doesn't value sport nearly enough in my view, but at least they have a field, courts, and a swimming pool.

They are luckier than most.

There are no household-name English lacrosse players for them to look up to, and this minority sport doesn't get much coverage, not even in i, let alone on TV. Before you jump down my throat, yes, we would like to change that, and have pledged to try. However in 2013, budgets don't always allow us to fulfill our ambitions.

But on a wider level, both this Government and its predecessor promised us an Olympic legacy. With the shameful news that Jessica Ennis's home Don Valley stadium is to close, that legacy pledge appears to be more in keeping with its caricature from the Twenty Twelve comedy series than real life. So, that's not "all good".