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Olympic chief says sports ambitions failing

Olympic chief says sports ambitions failing

Britain's drive to increase sports participation as a legacy of next year's London Games is shaping up as a failure, the head of the national Olympic committee said Wednesday.
When London was awarded the Olympics in 2005, bid leaders promised to increase the number of people playing sports in Britain by more than 1 million by 2013.
However, with recent figures showing that 21 of 30 selected sports had a decrease in the number of participants since 2007, British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan said a "great deal of work" still needed to be done.
"The reason the BOA looked to bid to host these games originally was in part because it would lead to a step change in sport throughout the whole country _ not just in east London but the whole country," Moynihan told the BBC.
"We are a long way from delivering that step change."
Moynihan's comments follow similar criticism of the participation drive by Richard Caborn, who was sports minister in 2005.
"The Olympics will be a spectacular success but we are not capitalizing on that," Caborn said. "We are in danger of failing completely on the long-term sporting legacy of the games.
"There needs to be a major change of direction in the strategy on this if the disastrous decline experienced by many of the sports is to be reversed."
Organizers have targeted raising the number of people playing sports three or more times a week by 2013 to 7.815 million from the 2007 figure of 6.815 million.
Latest figures published by government agency Sport England showed only a slight increase in participation, to 6.881 million.
"The pace of change needs to increase significantly over the next 12 months and beyond," Sport England chairman Richard Lewis said.
Lewis said the British government has written to all sports governing bodies "with the clear message that they must deliver participation growth or put their public funding at risk."


Updated : 2021-10-20 11:34 GMT+08:00