GB Olympic Legacy Proposal
Dear David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Lord Coe, MP’s, sports committees and the members of the Great British general public...
The Olympic Legacy has been widely talked about in offices, homes and schools for a long time; London 2012 could go down in history if we get this part right and it’s highly important that as a country, we do. As a dancer, sports enthusiast and fitness professional, I am extremely passionate about this subject and after sharing my ideas with strangers, I have been encouraged to develop and write the following proposal of my ideas.
I for one am surprised we have yet to consider opening a top university on the Olympic site and along with many others feel that the site in Stratford will offer a fantastic base for a university specialising in sports science. London has been referred to as the ‘City of the World’, it plays host to many universities, but I feel that we really need to create an opportunity for students to study sports in such an iconic environment.
The Oxford v Cambridge boat race is a highly popular calendar event for many Brits; whilst there are many different inter-school sports events, there is nothing as high profile as the yearly boat races. The hard work and effort of students across the country deserve the same level of recognition and publicity which I am sure many will agree. I hope that the Olympic Legacy Committee can create a platform for the many aspiring athletes this country is home to.
I understand that the current proposal states that the Queen Elizabeth Park will keep open its facilities to the general public; but what I want to make sure of is that these facilities remain affordable. Many attractions in London become very expensive for a visiting family and it is a personal worry of mine that these facilities too will become unaffordable for most.
There are 5 new ‘communities’ proposed for construction at the Olympic site; many people are against it and many people support it, for many different and justifiable reasons. In order to win people on side, these new builds need to have something special about them; they need to be different to anything this country has ever produced. I would like to see London be the first city, not only in the UK, but in the World to create an eco friendly village based around sustainable living.
The Olympic ceremonies left many feeling extremely patriotic and realising just how amazing our performing arts industry truly is; however unfortunately, unless we are lucky enough to have the available funds, many people rarely have the opportunity to enjoy what British stage and theatre have to offer. With hundreds of students graduating from performing arts colleges each year, showcasing their work to only a handful of the Great British public and funding decreasing at an alarming rate, measures need to be taken to ensure this does not become a lost or forgotten industry. I would like to see this changed and ensure we keep the publics interest in the arts forever growing.
There were talks of the stadium being rented out to one football team for a long period of time and I am extremely happy to see that this appears to no longer be in the pipeline. The use of the stadium for on off events will bring in revenue, create jobs but ultimately ensure that millions can enjoy the facilities, not just a handful of the public. I would like for the government and Olympic committee to make a promise to the Great British public that we are not at risk of the stadium facilities being sold off and run by football clubs.
I have friends who participated and volunteered in the Olympics; they had a fantastic time and it was a wonderful opportunity for them; however the opportunities for students and graduates can’t stop here, more opportunities need to be created to give generations of young adults a sense of purpose and an opportunity to achieve something good for them. It is highly important that access to work experience and internships is widely available, and what a better place to create these vacancies than at events within the Queen Elizabeth Park facilities.
The 7 foundations of my proposal are as followed:
- Create a top Sports Science University at the site of the Olympic park and Athletes Village.
- Create yearly sports contests for national school participation.
- Open the Olympic facilities up to the general public for an affordable price.
- Develop London’s first ever eco friendly and health conscious town.
- Produce a yearly showcase for our performing arts industry.
- Host one off high profile sports and music events.
- Create work experience and jobs for students and graduates across Great Britain.
1. There are many top Sports Science universities in the UK, (the top 5 include Loughborough, Durham, Exeter, Edinburgh and Birmingham); however for this particular course, we have yet to see London in the top 5 – or even reaching the top 50 for that matter. With the facilities already constructed at the site in Stratford, we have no excuses to not create what could be one of the greatest Sports Science Universities, not only in the UK, but in the World. The Athletes Village should be left untouched by developers, instead renting the rooms to students for accommodation during their studies. There would be nothing more inspiring for a young and passionate sports student than to be living in the same apartment and studying in the very facilities where the GB athletes stayed and competed during their quest for gold. During the summer months, a school of excellence for aspiring athletes would be opened at the site of the University, creating coaching jobs; a lottery funded or sponsorship backed scholarship scheme would be available in order to nurture our stars of tomorrow regardless of their financial background and inspire a pre-university generation.
2. The encouragement of children participating in sports needs to be continued for generations, not just during the Olympic buzz. I propose a televised national sports contest – to rival the Oxford v. Cambridge boat race – once a year, in which schools across Great Britain can enter their students age 12-16 (an age at which most start to lose an interest in sports) to compete. Over the years, I would hope that the National contest would become an iconic British event, encouraging students of the future to work towards a goal and giving younger children the aspiration to take part; it would create an opportunity for those who may come from a rough area or a tough upbringing to achieve something they can be proud of. In order to fund this National televised event, affordable tickets would be sold to the general public and corporate sponsorship would be encouraged.
3. During 'off peak' times such as the weekend or after 4pm, when not being used by the University or for school visits, the facilities including the Aquatics Centre, the main stadium and the Velodrome should be opened up to the general public for their leisure. The entry to these facilities should be cheap enough so that people can actually afford to take their children on a regular basis, not just on a one off occasion. By making it affordable, it shall ensure the legacy of all the athletes who trained and worked so hard to compete for their country continues to inspire generations to come.
4. With 5 new communities being built on site of the Olympics, there is an opportunity to develop an idea which has never been carried out before. All the houses built must be eco-friendly and designed around sustainable living. Hot water would be derived from an underground pipe system, each house would be fitted with solar panels and each street would have a comprehensive recycling system. The money this would save in household bills would pay for cost of the extra building works, making it a long term financial investment. Each community would be built around a large allotment, for the use of all residents, free of charge to grow their own fruit and vegetables. The Olympic park site would host a British organic farmers market 2-4 times per week, open to the residents of Startford and the visiting public and as for the giant McDonalds, it would be replaced with health food shops and restaurants. This would create London’s first ever eco friendly and health conscious town.
5. Great Britain is home to hundreds of performing arts schools whose talents are rarely showcased. Once a year, the Olympic Stadium shall be transformed into an opportunity for the final year graduates from performing arts schools across Great Britain to come together in one truly spectacular show, rivalling the opening and closing ceremonies of 2012. The event would coincide with the proposed inter-school sports event and all would be televised; allowing our performing arts students a fantastic platform into their new career. Developing the public’s interest in dance, music and amateur dramatics would have a positive impact on the sale of stage and theatre production tickets across the country, ultimately benefiting this poorly funded industry in the long term.
6. The stadiums would be rented out to host high profile sports events and concerts, similar to Wembley and the o2 Arena, but only as one offs - if the stadium was to be rented to a club full time, only a minority of people would have the opportunity to enjoy its facilities. The renting of the stadiums for these events will create thousands of jobs and funding for the upkeep of the various stadium facilities.
7. Students from across the country would be encouraged to volunteer, learn and gain work experience at all the music events, sports events, contests and showcases held at the stadium; with help needed in various roles from production to PR. Students age 16+ would register online for their chosen field, and different volunteers would be selected from these national applications. If the BBC broadcast studio is kept open, broadcasting opportunities for students would arise during all televised events at the Olympic site. This will add to their CV’s and potentially lead towards a full time career post graduation.
Making the Olympic site the home of British sports, ensuring it remains a tourist hotspot for many years; developing an innovative village, creating opportunities for students and graduates, providing a place that children and families can enjoy for generations. Something that will benefit everyone, regardless of where they live, their background or their financial status! Now that’s a legacy….
I am fully aware and understand that some of my ideas are elaborations of the current proposal, but I hope you treat them with seriousness and also take my original ideas into careful consideration. It is highly important to me and covers subjects which I am extremely passionate about. It has taken a great deal of courage to express such personal views and put them up for public scrutiny, however so far I am overwhelmed by the positive feedback and growing support which I have received.
I have taken my first steps in attempting to gain public recognition and support, by creating an online petition which can be found at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/gb-olympic-legacy-proposal/ where I have started to receive signatures of support.
My goal is to achieve 250+ signatures, win the backing of MP’s and gain the support of sports committees. To have my proposal considered as part of the Olympic Legacy would mean a great deal and would be an incredible achievement. I sincerely hope that all of the above does not fall among deaf ears.
Many thanks for taking your time to read and consider my proposal; your backing and support would be greatly appreciated and I am looking forward to receiving your response.