This essay will analyse the benefits of the 2012 Olympic Games which will bring and has brought to the UK.
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring a lot of benefits to the UK this essay intends to look at several of these opportunities; these opportunities include the development of sport, increase in tourism and increase in economic activity throughout the UK. (reference)
Local authorities are already using the inspiration of the Games to spread wider social, economic and sporting benefits to their communities in the run up to the 2012. This will be the basis for a long term and UK wide legacy from the Games.
The local Government Association has worked with local authorities to identify six UK wide legacy benefits:
Inspiring children and young people
Raising sporting game and influencing healthier lifestyles
Generating and supporting tourism
Boosting the local economy
Many of these legacy benefits are already important to local communities, and local authorities are working hard to partners to improve performance and service delivery. The 2012 Games provide a unique catalyst to reach new groups of people, bring new partners to the table and help local authorities achieve existing targets. (reference)
Hosting the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games is an opportunity to bring about positive change on a massive scale. The Games would not only add to the UK’s nation’s sporting heritage but will also celebrate the diversity of the capital.
It is a unique chance to showcase the best of London to the world and would generate huge benefits for all those who live or work in the city:
Boost for Sport:
The London 2012 Games will accelerate the delivery of new world-class sports infrastructure for the UK – and London in particular. For example, after the Games, the athletics Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Velodrome, Indoor Sports Arena, Hockey Centre, and Canoe Slalom will all be available for use by the community as well as elite athletes.
The 2012 Olympic Games is most likely to generate large amounts of interest from local authorities and businesses, this could possibly open up further links for the funding of sports at all levels.
Based on the experiences of former host Olympic countries, funding for the development of elite athletes in the years running up to the Games would increase.
Hosting teams for many months before the Games could also act as a catalyst for developing and refurbishing existing UK sports facilities.
Boost for Business, Jobs and Skills:
The hosting the Olympic Games will benefit every sector of the economy, this will provide a much needed boost for Business’, more jobs will be created and skills will be gained from the 2012 Olympic Games. Thousands of UK businesses will be used to deliver the Games for example catering, manufacturing, construction, services etc, and creating valuable opportunities for businesses.
An example such as the Sydney Olympic Games showed that business in Australia won over a billion pounds in contracts for the Games (PWC report), more than 200 million from regional businesses and over 55,000 people receiving employment related training.
London’s tourism industry will receive a significant boost, not just for the duration of the Games but in the run up to and long after the Games. An example of how an area can benefit from the 2012 Olympic Games is how Dorset, Weymouth and Portland has increased their local visitor economy. They will host the Sailing events in 2012. The Spirit of the Sean festival, which celebrates the area’s close relationship with the sea, has completed its second year and is going from strength to strength. Last year’s festival showcased around 50 activities at 27 venues. The festival has a range of cultural and sporting events which include water sports competitions for all ages and of all abilities, concerts on the beach, the Dorset seafood festival, the Moving Tides Children’s Procession and the Henri Lloyd Weymouth Regatta. These events all in turn encourage people to be more active and to get involved with the towns cultural opportunities. People who attend these events spent on average ?68, which has provided a boost in the economy. Dorset, Weymouth and Portland will be using the council’s status to share with other local authorities how to secure a tourism legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
A London Games would also provide many new learning opportunities for Londoners to train and develop their skills. The Olympic park which is being built will also create thousands of new jobs.
The running of the 2012 Olympic Games will require around 70,000 volunteers, this is set to cause the largest volunteer recruitment force in the UK. This will lead to a volunteering boost in general sports and specific sports.
An example of this is Kent County councils aim to secure maximum benefit from the 2012 Olympic Games by using the Kent event team, whom are in partnership with the Kent county council and the voluntary sector, and the use of the Games as a key focal point to employee volunteers for sporting events and leisure and cultural activities across the UK. Another example is the Voluntary Action Maidstone which is the lead voluntary sector partner. In its first 18months, a manager and voluntary support staff were appointed, 700 volunteers and 40 organisations were registered and 20 events were supported. These included sporting, cultural and artistic events and festivals. The Kent event team aims to create a network of volunteers for wider community use who are available to volunteer after the 2012 Games, encourage people who are unable to make a long term commitment to volunteering, and help support the volunteering sectors to develop good practices with regard to community events.
Various ‘test events’ will be held during the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games, some of these test events include world championships. International Sports Federations will hold European and world championships and other large scale events in the UK, this will allow their athletes to acclimatise with the country. This will have a positive effect to the UK in the sense that it will deliver several million pounds to the UK for example
Birmingham City Council concluded that hosting of the World Indoor Athletics Championships and World Badminton Championships in 2003 had a positive economic impact of ?3.5M and ?2.5M respectively. (reference)
Another example Is in the Australian Olympic Games 125 teams from 39 countries went through training before the Games in different locations across Australia, the training estimated to have benefited the state’s economy by about 70 million (PWC, 2002).
Creative Industries is the fastest growing sector in London, responsible for one in five new jobs in the capital. An Olympic cultural Programme is a major aspect of the Games. From concerts in the parks to street theatre, the Games would provide a platform for talented artists in London to showcase their skills to a global audience.
Boosting Health and Sporting success:
Hosting the world’s greatest sporting event – given the passion, excitement and interest likely to be generated – would boost Government initiatives to promote participation in sport and physical activity at all levels.
The Olympic Games would bring forward one of the largest and most significant urban regeneration projects ever undertaken in the UK, through the transformation of the Lower Lea Valley in east London. The area has already been identified as a priority by the Government, the Mayor and the LDA.
Thousands of athletes, officials, spectators and media will be travelling to the Games and in order to achieve a smooth running transport system London will be improving several of the transport links to the east of London. Some of these improvements include, Channel Tunnel Shuttle link from Stratford to Kings Cross and ?1bn improvement to London East line. (reference)
The creation of the Olympic Park will create more green space, maintain local biodiversity, and improve the soil, water and air quality in the London area. The ways in which this will be achieved is the waterways and canals of the river lea will be made wider and will be cleaned, and the levels of the water will be renewed to achieve a new wetland habitat for wildlife, the park will also be planted with native species some of these include oak and ask, this will provide a home for wildlife in the middle of the city, by improving the park it will encourage birdwatchers and ecologists to come and enjoy the area. The London 2012 Olympic Games would set new standard for recycling of natural resources, consumption and sustainable production. They will achieve this by….
During the Games The Olympic Village will be used for officials and athletes to stay during the Games and then after the Games the renovation of the Olympic village will take place, the village will turned into 5,000 homes. Houses will also be built on the Olympic park site after the Games as well as new amenities for the local community which will include shops, restaurants and cafes. This is one of the key benefits of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The ODA, the Olympic delivery authority, has an equality and inclusion programme, the ODA’s equality and diversity strategy and the ODA’s three equality schemes covering race, disability and gender equality, the aim of this programme is to create an inclusive Games, which promotes good equality practices and access for all. This mission extends the aims of the ODA beyond these statutory duties to include the newer equality strands of age, religion and sexual orientation and other inclusion issues centred on socio-economic, culture and political disadvantage.
The regeneration of the area will have many social and economic benefits. It will have a positive impact on local communities in different parts of the UK and example of how they are managing to achieve this is having a fair, open and a wider range of diverse suppliers the way in which recruiting and managing employees is done fairly, this helps to promote equal opportunities to all and eliminate discrimination in the workplace. The ODA are also working with partner organisations to encourage women, black, Asian and minority ethnic people and disabled people, to train and apply for jobs in construction and other areas. The 2012 Olympic Games is set to be inclusive for people of all cultures, faiths and ages, and fully accessible to disabled people with a wide range of impairments. The ODA will also provide a transport network that will be accessible and give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the Games, as well as leave a lasting legacy for equality and inclusion.
The London organising committee of the Olympic and Paralympic games plan to get women, disabled people and BAME people actively involved in sport by raising awareness so a wider range of people watch the 2012 Games and influencing key partners to train young people in sports volunteering, coaching and other related skills. They will also challenge discrimination in sport by spreading positive messages, supporting programmes that promote equality and making full use of the London 2012 Paralympic games to inspire disabled people. They hope that with the right approach that the 2012 Games will benefit everyone.