Message Board: Is children's sport paying for the 2012 London Olympics?

Revelations that a £500m shortfall in funding for the Games is being made up by diverting funds from grassroots sports to elite athletes met a mixed reception from contributors:
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The Independent Online


Of course it's right if it does. The Olympics is a major one-off event. It doesn't come round often and you need to make the most of it while you can. In the long run, the children will benefit from London having staged the Games.


During 25 years of teaching, my class was timetabled for two hours of PE a week. Before I retired in 2001, the head of my primary school made me drop PE to one hour a week, to make way for design technology. New Labour destroyed school sport.


Interesting that as soon as GB starts doing very well there is considerably less controversy about the Olympics. It's the same with football. As soon as England starts winning, everybody develops an overriding national obsession.


Let's avoid the mistakes of Australia which saw huge reductions in spending on physical activity before, during and after the 2000 Games, and hence saw a rise in obesity. It became, at the same time, sport-mad and sedentary.


PE in this country was abysmal long before the Olympics were awarded to London. What about all those playing fields that were sold off by local councils years ago? The spin-off benefit of the Olympics is inspiring youngsters to compete for their country.


British success in the Olympics is inspirational to imaginative kids who can emulate their new heroines and heroes with little kit. Running, jumping and haring about on an old bike cost little, but anything that fires up youngsters is invaluable.

J Hayward

We are all going to be paying for the Olympics for decades, not merely schoolchildren. It is such a philistine event – why not present young people with other models of behaviour to aspire to, rather than obsessive, competitive physicality?


Millions and millions are going to be spent on the Olympics so I guess it has to come from somewhere. I'd rather children's sport lose out. That's better than other areas that could be cut, such as pensions or education or the NHS.


How much does it cost to train a synchronised swimmer or a beach volleyball player, I wonder? I think it's dedication and aspiration most of our children lack, not funding. Maybe our winning streak will inspire some of them.

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