Maria Miller: Cameron and Coe working to ensure Olympic legacy

Clearly people's attitudes towards disability were blown out of the water

As we prepare for the curtain to fall on 2012, I am sure I won't be alone in thinking back to the halcyon days of the summer and glorious memories of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. With the Games delivered on time and under budget, 185 medals won by Team GB, almost a quarter of a million people applying to be Games Makers and the entire country benefiting from a renewed sense of national pride, the summer was an enormous success story.

But that success cannot be judged solely on the basis of what happened in 2012. After all, we were awarded the Games in 2005 after Seb Coe made a very clear promise to deliver a lasting legacy from London 2012 and, most importantly, pledged to "inspire a generation".

The inspirational effect of this year's Games is beyond any doubt. No one could fail to be touched by the beaming smile of Mo Farah as he won his second gold, the joy of Jess Ennis (below) as she crossed the line in the 800m, the final event of her gruelling heptathlon, or the delight of Ellie Simmonds, poster girl of the Paralympics, as she picked up her fourth medal of the Games.

Millions of people were encouraged to get involved. Figures show that 900,000 more people – including 600,000 women – are now taking part in sport and physical activity than a year ago, and over 12,000 schools participated in this year's School Games.

We are delivering a sporting legacy through our continued funding of both community and elite sport. Just two weeks ago, UK Sport set out how they will invest an unprecedented £347 million in elite sport in the build-up to Rio 2016 – with the express ambition of being the first host country to go on and win more medals at the next Games. The day before, Sport England committed £493m to driving up grass-roots participation. The majority of this money will be targeted at those aged 14 to 25, reinforcing our commitment to inspire a generation.

The transformation of a large part of East London is perhaps the most tangible aspect of the Olympic legacy. All eight venues in the Olympic Park should have a settled future next year, and some will be places where our future Olympians will train and practise.

In 2017 the Olympic Stadium hosts the World Athletics Championships but, buoyed by memories of the Paralympics, I am most looking forward to the Paralympic equivalent – the IPC World Championships – which will also take place there in 2017. Clearly people's attitudes towards disability have been blown out of the water, and for the first time the Paralympics received similar coverage and attention to the Olympics. We should be proud that it was in Britain – the birthplace of the Paralympic movement – that this happened. Now we must capitalise on the change in attitude and ensure we encourage disabled sport.

The volunteering legacy, built on the shoulders of the 70,000 Games Makers who gave their time so generously, is being developed and the Join In initiative has already attracted hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have never volunteered before.

And, of course, there is the economic legacy that the Games provided. New jobs, new business opportunities and increased tourism have all played their part, and in total we stand to deliver an economic impact of some £13bn over the next few years off the back of this summer. The Government's GREAT campaign, promoting the best of Britain to the world, is focused on making sure we derive all the investment and tourism benefits we can from our hosting of the Games.

The "Legacy Games" was a concept born in Singapore when we were awarded the Olympics, and the need to create a lasting legacy is understood at the very highest levels of Government. I am working closely with both the Prime Minister and Lord Coe on our far-reaching plans.

We believe we are on the right path and we have the backing of the International Olympic Committee, who said we have created a "legacy blueprint" for future hosts.

When closing the Paralympic Games, Lord Coe said we stamped three famous words on the London 2012 Games: "Made in Britain". I am confident that we will be able to use the same words to describe the delivery of our Olympic and Paralympic legacy in the years to come.

Maria Miller is the Culture Secretary

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent