London 2012 Olympic Games legacy 'non-existent', says medalist Liz McColgan
Friday 24 August 2012
Olympic medalist Liz McColgan has said she fears that a generation of aspiring athletes will see no benefit from any “legacy” from the London Games.
The former long-distance runner, from Dundee, directed her concern to politicians during an event in the Scottish Parliament.
She said little has changed since she was young.
"I still coach kids who are paying £3 to get into a track that has very bad lighting. I can't see them in the winter time. There's only one toilet. There's no drinks available," she pointed out.
"It's quite sad that we've had so much success at the Olympics, and we've got 112 kids who all want to be like Mo Farah, and I can see that the cycle track that's just 100m along across the park is exactly the same, the swimming clubs are exactly the same.
"Were we prepared? No we weren't.
"We are probably going to let down a lot kids who are so enthused from the success that we had. Kids nowadays have got a great access to television. I didn't have that in my day. They see it and they want it.
"I feel the Government, the associations have let us down because we are not prepared to deal with all these kids that want to be the next Chris Hoy or Kat Grainger."
Ms McColgan, who won silver in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and two golds in Commonwealth competitions, said it was lucky that the 2012 Games were a success.
Speaking as a panellist at the Festival of Politics in Holyrood, she said: "I believe there's no legacy that I can see left in my neck of the woods. We're left to our own devices."
In a direct plea, she said: "I've sat on many, many panels like this and nothing happens. Everyone's got great ideas but nothing happens. Why not just listen for once and take action?"
She was joined on the panel by former Scotland rugby player John Beattie who also complained about a lack of action to stimulate investment in sport for children.
He suggested private funding for state school sport, adding that he feels guilty about the high standards he enjoyed at private school.
"I don't think it's a Government thing alone. There's a whole corporate world that should be getting into this because there's no way you're getting more money," he said.
"The next step to make it work would be corporate money coming into the school system to sponsor leagues, to pay teachers extra."
The panel also included sports journalist Alison Walker and Scottish Sports Association policy director Kim Atkinson, and was chaired by Labour MSP John Park.
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
New York police shooting: thousands turn out for the funeral of Rafael Ramos
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...