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

PROMOTED VIDEO
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
and  

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

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links