Olympic Games | The Guardian
Success in elite sport has not inspired normal Brits to become more active, the government will announce on Wednesday, and it must seize the moment to ensure that the 2022 Commonwealth Games legacy is not wasted as it was after London 2012.
In one notable contribution, Dame Tanni Gray-Thompson, one of the UK’s greatest Paralympics, will say that “false hope” was created by the promise that major sporting events like the London Olympics would change the nation’s fitness.
Gray-Thompson – head of ukactive, which represents more than 4,000 gyms, swimming pools and leisure centers – will call on the government to use the focal point of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham to create a “shared vision” to train up to 5 million people 2030 more regular.
“I would like us to form a partnership in which the government uses all possible levers to support the development of the sector and to enable more people to take action,” said Gray-Thompson at the ukactive conference on Wednesday to say.
“It could lead to a global event like the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 having a greater legacy of activity than London’s 2012 ever had. Our government has that under control. Let us not miss this opportunity that would be transformative for our nation. “
Last year, the Sport England Active Lives survey found that nearly 14 million adults did less than 30 minutes of exercise a week – with poor, elderly, and ethnic groups being particularly hard hit. However, Gray-Thompson believes the fitness sector can make a difference with more government investment, reform of corporate pay systems, and a commitment to help more people with low-income backgrounds become active.
“Far too often the debate about top-class sport, inspiration and the active population has been mixed up,” she will tell the delegates, including the new cultural secretary Nadine Dorries. “This merger is at the expense of everyone and means that our industry is not playing its full role in society. Because it raised false hopes in matters of “legacy” from great sporting moments.
“It has also diverted an important focus from the parts of our sector that are the main drivers of mass activities that include fitness and recreation alongside walking, cycling and running. And this is exactly where we need to share our pursuit of growth with the government. It would have a transformative impact on the huge problem of inactivity we face as a nation. “
On Monday, the Commonwealth Games announced a radical attempt to protect the future of the event, which will result in the number of compulsory sports being reduced from 16 to two – track and field and swimming. With game bosses struggling to convince cities to apply for the event, potential hosts are given more freedom in choosing city and esports to appeal to younger audiences.