Olympics legacy: We’re on the right track. But there’s so much to do following London 2012


London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was founded on a promise to engage more young people than ever in sporting activity.

In 2005, I was lucky enough to be part of the London delegation in Singapore when IOC President Jacques Rogge announced that the Games would come to the UK.

Also among that team were some schoolchildren from east London and I will always remember their sheer elation at the thought of the greatest sporting event on Earth coming to their home town – a reaction doubtless mirrored in classrooms across the country.

The breathtaking spectacle of the London Games, coupled with the incredible achievements of British athletes, doubtlessly inspired millions of young people. However, as we near the first anniversary of the Games,  the challenge remains to turn this inspiration into sustained increases  in participation. Schools have a crucial role to play in this and, over the past year, many have used the London  2012 effect to engage more of their pupils in physical education and sport.

Furthermore, some have been able to use their pupils renewed enthusiasm as a catalyst to improve standards across the curriculum and boost academic achievement in the classroom, as well as on the playing field.

There is, however, much more to  be achieved and it is the provision of PE and sport in our primary schools that needs the most urgent attention.

If a child is put off sport at an early  age, it tends to be years before they  re-engage.

Despite this, many primary school teachers still lack the confidence and competence to deliver high-quality PE due to the limited time dedicated to the subject in initial teacher training.

As a result, we are at risk of failing to equip a generation with the physical literacy – basic skills such as running, jumping and catching – they need to build the all-important sporting habit.

The Government’s recent investment in this area is a step in  the right direction, but schools must spend their money wisely in order to achieve sustainable improvements.

It is impossible to judge the legacy of London 2012 in just one year.

However, one thing is certain – there is still much to be done to  ensure the excitement and elation I witnessed from that group of young people in Singapore in 2005 is maintained for many years to come.

Baroness Campbell is chair of the Youth Sport Trust

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas