Games have not boosted school sport, admits Coe


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The Independent Online

Lord Coe has warned that the London Olympics failed to build a secure future for school sport, as it emerged that more than a quarter of a million tickets for the Games went unsold.

The outgoing chairman of London 2012, who has been appointed the Government's new legacy chief, admitted that he had been disappointed at the lack of consensus over physical education and urged politicians from all parties to work together to remedy the problem.

He said: "I find it frustrating that off the back of the sport we have witnessed, the role models that have emerged, that we are still discussing the future of school sport in the state sector." In evidence to the London Assembly, Lord Coe and the Locog chief executive, Lord Deighton, defended themselves against allegations of a lack of transparency surrounding ticket sales.

They said more than 8.2 million of the 8.47 million available tickets for the Games had been sold. Of these nearly eight out of 10 went to members of the British public.

However, 263,824 did not sell – about three per cent of the total – including 284 tickets for the Opening Ceremony. Among those tickets not offered for sale were 2,407 for athletics in the Olympic Stadium. Seats in the vicinity of the cauldron were withheld until organisers could be sure that the flame did not pose a risk to nearby spectators.

The Paralympics meanwhile sold 2.84 million tickets – 98 per cent of the total available. Nine out of 10 of these were bought by UK residents.

Both peers denied that fans with the deepest pockets had managed to buy the most tickets through the website process, insisting that those who persisted and were prepared to compromise over their choice of sport had eventually succeeded.