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‘Olympic inspiration alone is not enough’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:14 23 November 2016

Crowds leaving the Olympic Stadium at the Olympic Park in Stratford, during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Crowds leaving the Olympic Stadium at the Olympic Park in Stratford, during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

PA/Press Association Images

The true scale of London’s Olympic legacy may never be known, according to the researchers behind a new British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open study.

The team, led by University of Essex lecturer Dr Gavin Sandercock, looked at the fitness levels and inspiration of schoolchildren both before and after the 2012 Games to see whether the promised legacy had an impact.

The study claimed: “Inspiration alone is not sufficient and our findings reiterate the importance of continued investment in support networks to capitalise on any impetus that hosting major sporting events may provide.”

A Department of Health spokesman said an investment would be made.

He said: “This government is absolutely committed to giving children a healthy start.

“This why we are doubling the school sport premium and we are encouraging an hour a day of exercise.

“Primary schools have received over £450million of ring-fenced funding since 2013 to provide improvements to their PE and sport provision.”

Sports clubs across the borough have also tried to capitalise on the Olympic legacy.

Newham Youngbloods coach, Caroline Charles, said: “One of my main aims was to get and maintain girls’ participation in basketball.

“Although massive numbers did not turn up at our Youngbloods door, since 2012 we have been able to field teams in different age groups.”


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