Lord Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 organising committee, has said that for the first time parents are likely to be ‘marginally fitter’ than their children and has called on politicians to build on the success of the Games.
Lord Coe insisted that the inspirational effect of the Olympics on young people was real and that there was a ‘limited window of opportunity’ to capitalise on it, The Guardian reports. He said politicians should recognise the complexity of issues surrounding school sport and not let debate over it be about political point scoring.
With specialist support for primary schools set to be scrapped during the next academic year, he appealed for a particular focus on sport in this phase: “It is my instinct that if you haven’t got that pattern and love of sport and that pattern of exercise by year 10 or 11, it is going to be quite hard to introduce that to 14- to 15-year-olds with the cluttered landscape that you are then competing against,” he said.
Tessa Jowell, shadow Olympics minister, has called for a cross-party agreement on the best way to capitalise on the legacy of London 2012. “We mustn’t confuse high quality physical education within schools, and competitive sport. They are, in essence, two different things,” she said. “Done properly, they take you to the same virtuous outcome. Everybody recognises that giving young people a competitive outlet through sport is a very good thing.”
Do you agree with Lord Coe’s warning about children’s fitness? How do you think we should capitalise on the Olympics legacy?