The hosting of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic
Games was an outstanding success. The Games exceeded expectations
and confounded sceptics by giving the world a spectacular example
of what the United Kingdom is capable of doing, delivering a major
event to time and to budget.
The success of the Games is a credit to the organisations
involved, particularly LOCOG, the ODA and the BOA. As well as
showcasing the UK's professionalism and expertise to the world,
the experience of the Games should convince the UK of the value
of holding such events in future.
The Committee's task was not to examine the Games
themselves, but whether they will have an enduring sporting and
regeneration legacy. The evidence we took suggested that legacy
played a bigger part in the planning of the 2012 Games than in
previous Games, and this in itself deserves credit.
The London 2012 legacy promised nothing less than
a healthier and more successful sporting nation, open for business,
with more active, sustainable, fair and inclusive communities.
These laudable aims, supported across the political spectrum,
attracted significant public and private investment. This report
considers whether the promised legacy will be delivered.
Governance of the legacy
In the run up to 2012, and during the course of the
Games, a combination of tight deadlines and political impetus
ensured that a complex web of organisations pulled together in
the same direction to deliver outcomes to an obvious timeframe.
We are unconvinced that the Government's current
oversight arrangements represent a robust way to deliver the legacy.
There is confusion on the timeframes and targets involved in its
delivery and a lack of clear ownership.
We recommend that one minister be given overall responsibility
for the many strands of the legacy, working with the devolved
administrations to ensure UK-wide coordination. In the same vein,
we call for the Mayor to be given lead responsibility and the
necessary powers to take forward the vision for the future development
of East London and create a lasting Olympic legacy in the capital.
Participation in sport
The UK faces an epidemic of obesity and the promise
of inspiring a new sporting generation was a crucial and tantalising
part of the legacy aspiration. A post-Games step change in participation
across the UK and across different sports did not materialise.
We suggest urgent action to put in place clearly
defined plans, under the lead of the single Minister for the Games
Legacy, to inject more coherence into current efforts. In the
medium term we must ensure that similar opportunities to improve
sporting participation are not lost at future events.
The Games were an impressive example of what could
be done to inspire volunteers, but again more needs to be done,
including in planning future events, to ensure this has a meaningful
legacy for volunteering more widely.
The Paralympic Games provided genuine inspiration
for people with and without disabilities to take up sport but
there are barriers in the quality of the facilities available
in clubs, which affect disabled people looking to participate
A hoped-for legacy of the Paralympics was the transformation
of general perceptions of disability. Extensive media coverage
had a powerful effect on changing general public perceptions of
disabled sport. There was less clear evidence that there was a
similar impact on the broader perception of people with disabilities.
Physical Education and school age children
The interaction between sports clubs and schools,
as well as wider social infrastructure, is key to establishing
life-long patterns of physical activity. We support the findings
of a recent study by Baroness Grey-Thompson on sport in schools
in Wales and believe the principles underlying her findings should
be applied throughout the United Kingdom.
In particular, PE needs a greater emphasis in the
school day and that teachers, particularly in primary schools,
need the training and skills to teach PE if we are to achieve
meaningful progress. Improving PE is fundamentalwhere it
starts and endsand we call on the DfE and Ofsted to take
more active roles in making this change happen.
High Performance Sport
We examined UK Sport's "no compromise"
approach to sports funding which has clearly improved the top-end
of Team GB's performances in the recent past. The no compromise
approach is principally retrospective; it does not sufficiently
help emerging sports some of which, such as handball or volleyball,
generated real enthusiasm at London 2012.
The heavy focus on volume of medals also has an inherent
bias against team sports. We call for UK Sport to adopt a more
flexible approach, which reflects this problem and also enables
sports to nurture a broader base and a wider pool from which future
world class talent may emerge.
The legacy of the facilities
Looking at the future of the Games' facilities, we
were disappointed by the disputes over the future use of the Olympic
Stadium and ask those involved to work together to ensure that
it is used for maximum community benefit. The other permanent
facilities have been fitted out to combine accessibility for the
whole community and to provide sustainable world class facilities
for hosting future sports events. We hunted for, but did not find,
It is the local people who should stand to gain most
from the Games' legacy, and it is for this reason that the regeneration
of East London was a major plank in the promised legacy. Previous
Games and other major sporting events around the world have failed
to leave meaningful transformative legacies for local people.
The regeneration of East London was at the centre
of the London bid internationally and, more importantly, domestically.
This is a big task with a potentially big reward. Whilst the sporting
legacy can be measured in the short to medium term, we were repeatedly
told that the regeneration legacy is a longer-term project.
The redevelopment of the Olympic Park itself is led
by the Mayor's London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). The
Park will offer a mix of good quality new housing within the former
athletes' village and five new neighbourhoods will be developed
across the Park. It is important that a fair proportion, at least
LLDC's target of 35%, of this housing is affordable for, and accessible
to, local residents; we recommend that the LLDC should take steps
to manage and monitor this.
Outside the Park, there is massive potential and
need for further housing development in the surrounding boroughs.
We believe it is essential that the Mayor, the GLA and local authorities
work together to accelerate development on these sites and to
ensure that the high standards so far achieved are sustained in
The development of the Park and surrounding area
will generate new employment opportunities. The perception of
the local people we met during this inquiry was that so far they
have not felt the benefits of these opportunities.
We call on the responsible bodies to develop a coordinated
programme through which new opportunities can be targeted at local
communities. These jobs will only be taken by locals if the skills
base of people in the area improves. This requires action and
investment in the short term to secure the long-term dividend.
The transport infrastructure left in the wake of
the Games is critical. We recommend that the Department for Transport
take proper ownership of the unsolved problem of providing Stratford
International station with international services. Transport for
London made great strides in improving the accessibility of the
London transport network, including for travellers with disabilities.
The momentum of these changes must not be lost, and
the successful joint working by transport operators must be maintained.
A number of initiatives piloted during the Games allowed businesses,
particularly SMEs, a platform to compete to provide services in
support of the Games. These initiatives were successful and need
to be maintained to maximise the benefits to businesses.
More needs to be done to ensure that the longer-term
economic benefits of the Games, particularly in tourism, are felt
in the country outside southern England and more focussed ownership
at Ministerial level should help to achieve this.