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The Olympic Sporting Legacy - what happened?

(17 Posts)
Eloethan Wed 05-Aug-15 10:06:45

According to the news, participation in sporting activities has actually decreased significantly since 2012. A major part of the bid was based on the assurance that if London got the Olympics it would mean that more and more people - and particularly the young - would be drawn into sporting activities.

My own feeling is that it is not just about providing the facilities for engagement in sporting activities. In my own area, our leisure facilities are in the process of being updated and in one case completely rebuilt. However, over the last few years more and more people are working longer hours for less money, and engaging routinely in sports is neither very practical for them nor affordable. Some people just feel exhausted and demoralised and that is also not really conducive to taking on new challenges and activities.

The legacy of the Olympics seems to me to have been an admittedly first class well landscaped Olympic site which to some extent benefits local people (although at the expense of many local council and private tenants and small businesses that were forced to move). However, the legacy was supposed to be not just about the regeneration of a very unattractive and polluted area of east London but should have been involving the whole country in pursuing a whole range of sports and physical activities - some competitive and some not.

What really annoys me is the Legacy organisation which has formed loose partnerships with various charities who then push a self-serving "legacy" agenda to schoolchildren, many of whom are too young to remember the Olympics and who have never visited the site.

rosesarered Wed 05-Aug-15 10:12:00

I think people, including young people got enthused about the Olympics being here, and when it was over, gradually lost that feeling.

Ana Wed 05-Aug-15 10:18:07

Especially when they began to realise that that it takes a great deal of time and effort to become anywhere near as good as an Olympic competitor. A lot of young people have unrealistic expectations.

whitewave Wed 05-Aug-15 10:21:01

Nothing -cuts

rosesarered Wed 05-Aug-15 10:30:17

Everything is cuts? grin

GillT57 Wed 05-Aug-15 11:26:50

We are all in a seven day a week society now, sadly, and all those young men that used to be standing waiting for a lift on a Sunday morning with their football kit at their feet are now working when they should be having time off and exercise. Just one example I know, but families are stretched to cover multiple part time jobs, child care pick ups, leisure time gets sacrificed.I know these are not the future olympians, but these habits of exercise and sport are learned. My parents did no sport, I did no sport and regrettably neither of my children did either, it just didnt feature in our lives.

Eloethan Wed 05-Aug-15 12:01:36

I was nervous of sports. Even the ones I enjoyed, like netball, I wasn't very good at and was therefore not a great asset to any team. My parents were also not confident to participate in sports and neither of them could swim so couldn't teach me. I didn't learn to swim until I was in my late 30's.

We paid for our children to have intensive swimming courses during the Easter holidays and they are both very strong swimmers. My son still organises and plays five-a-side football with his work colleagues, goes to the gym (which is in the basement of his workplace) some lunchtimes and has recently taken up distance running. my daughter is not at all sporty but walks a lot and remains slim.

The most important thing is to keep active - whether it is through non-competitive things like dance, jogging, aerobics, walking, tai chi, etc., or through team sports. I think the emphasis on competition often puts off people who are never going to be first class athletes or valuable team members and I think as Ana said, to some extent, the Olympics created unrealistic expectations. This obsession with competition has, I think, prevented people taking up all sorts of hobbies and activities because, increasingly, nothing is seen as being done for pleasure but always with a view to being better than someone else or in order to improve employment prospects. That is why so many adult education classes have been cut, with priority given to those relating to employment.

It is a shame that those people who lead particularly stressed lives and who might benefit the most from de-stressing with a swim or a run are perhaps the least likely to have the time or energy to be more physically active. In my view, unless we call a halt to the growing number of unnecessary and unnatural anti-social shifts that people are increasingly having to do - and allow families more time together - physical and mental health will suffer.

rosesarered Wed 05-Aug-15 12:20:28

I think it's one of those things.... We make time to do the things we want to do.I don't like sport, except for one or two things, is ping pong a sport?!
DH loves sport but can't do it now, son-in-law has very little time and does antisocial hours shift work but finds time to play golf , cycle and go for runs, as does my grandson, simply because they love it.We all make time for the things we like.

durhamjen Wed 05-Aug-15 13:21:51

I heard this morning someone talking about parkruns.
My son and his family do those. It's an excellent way to keep fit, and it's free, apart from the fact that they are always buying new running shoes.
My grandson has to run every other day, with either his dad or mum, otherwise he thinks he is not fit enough.
It's not like joining a club, you do not have to go every week, and even if you are on holiday, you can find a parkrun.
You can be as sociable as you want to be, and you are only competing against yourself.

Elrel Wed 05-Aug-15 13:41:26

Park runs and other organised activities, Tai Chi, Nordic Walking etc in parks are an excellent idea. Sadly it is rare now to see the organised football and cricket games which, with their own leagues, used to take place on carefully maintained pitches each week end idecades ago and in many areas have gradually disappeared. Maybe cuts in jobs in parks are a big factor.

Tegan Wed 05-Aug-15 13:51:15

The park where my gym is is always full of people and there is a long list of associated activities; runs, walks, bowls etc. The swimming pool/sauna area are always busy [just going there now]. But they did spend a lot of money on the place recently. Whereas the council run leisure centre in the next town is closing due to cuts; annoyingly it's where the local schools send their pupils to learn to swim. The S.O. always talks sadly about when he was a boy and they all organised cricket/football matches after school. Someone mentioned how children weren't taking an interest in cricket any more and the theory is because it's no longer on terrestrial television. I think the interent has a lot to amswer for [says she putting of going to the gym by sitting on the computer blush].

durhamjen Wed 05-Aug-15 14:06:14

My son is a manager of a football team for the boys who were never chosen for the school team. There are quite a few leagues up here for the team to join. It does still happen, you just do not notice it unless you are involved.
There are leagues for teams of kids from 7 to 17.

durhamjen Wed 05-Aug-15 14:09:20

Russell Foster Youth League, it's called.

petra Wed 05-Aug-15 17:58:28

That's worn me out, all that talk of exercise.

whitewave Wed 05-Aug-15 18:23:23

There seems to be all sorts of activities for children down here. Grandson's belong to a Football club and play all sorts of other teams. They also go every week to an athletics club and have both recently given up weekly swimming as it was asll getting too much. Eldest grandson also plays archery.

gillybob Wed 05-Aug-15 22:38:42

Olympic legacy ??? What ?

My 3 DGC (9,7 and 5) are very sporty, but not because of the Olympics. The girls are horse mad and compete in gymkhanas, and county shows. They idolize Zara Phillips. They are both excellent at gymnastics and swimming too. They have won so many medals and trophies my son (their dad) has converted the loft into a trophy room.

Their brother (5) is already swimming in a swimming club competing against children twice his age. He plays football and rugby and has won player of the week and month more times than I can remember.

Nothing whatsoever to do with the bloody Olympics though, as living in the NE of England the London Olympics might as well have been in Timbuktoo.

gillybob Thu 06-Aug-15 12:37:29

Meant to add that apart from their love of horses, which they get from their mum, I'm not sure where they get their love of all things sporty from.