The slogan of the London 2012 Olympic games has been ‘Inspire A Generation’. After 7 days it is quite clearly achieving this. I have never seen such a positive single voice coming from the UK, nothing has done this much to bring the nation together in decades. There are even rumours of people actually talking to each other on the tube, although this could be down to the number of Northerners riding around on it and working our influence.
Before the games started there was uproar from the media about who the IOC have used for sponsors and the draconian way in which their coverage has been enforced. Many have said the sponsorship money from McDonalds, Coca Cola and P & G is counter productive to tackling the problem of rising obesity levels in the UK. As someone who has struggled with my weight, eat too much and exercise too little, same as many people in the UK. I think this is complete and utter rubbish. The more money invested in sport the better.
It’s great to see the sports benefiting from the money of the junk food monkeys.
It is a bit of a vicious cycle that those who have the spare cash to throw about can invest in sport, and by investing in sport they are highlighting their brand to make more money from junk food. I would much rather have a private company pumping money in than having to raise taxes to fund it. The one thing that is missing from the investment into LOCOG is the further investment into the actual sports.
If we are to inspire a generation, the generation has to be able to afford to take part in sports. A huge hurdle to many sports is the cost; kit costs money and membership to clubs costs money. It is all well and good having millions of people prepared to step up and become the next Bradley Wiggins, Ben Ainslie, Peter Wilson or Tim Baillie; if they can’t afford to take part in these sports then it is pointless.
The best way to cut down on the huge costs of the rising obesity problem would be to invest in youth access to sports. Some schools are excellent, although many of these are public schools, access to sports in schools has been gradually eroded of the past decade with schools selling off fields for development. One of the advantages of having the free school system is that the Local authority can’t force the hands of this process. There can be direct investment into sports facilities if required.
The best way to cut down on the future generations becoming fatter and fatter is to bounce upwards from the London 2012 success and a whole different approach to sports from an early age. If compulsory sport was done through sports clubs and there was the variety there then the children would be taught by people with passion for the sports. Having to do sports by a teacher who doesn’t have the access to training, facilities or might have no interest in that particular sport is not positive, causing children to be put off taking sports further.
The other addition that any sports club can bring to teaching children is passion. A person who has a true passion for a sport can be worth thousands of ordinary people showing someone how to do something.