Has the Olympic legacy false started?
I was running over Hampstead Heath with a client today and yet again the beautifully manicured running track on Parliament Hill was empty, totally empty. The fact it costs to run around the track is a huge mistake, all running tracks should have been free in 2012.
We are a month or so from our own games a games where hundreds of millions of pounds, man hours, media hours and dodgy logo's have combined to create the greatest show on earth. The idea that post Olympics the people of Great Britain will don their best sports kit and try to emulate the great and the good of Olympic sport is very misplaced. Some one somewhere has missed a trick.
Long, long ago in my school days there was the ' 5 Star Awards' scheme. The scheme that insisted on every child had to perform the basic Olympic disciplines to the best of their ability come rain or shine. At the end of year, every child received a certificate based on their performance and got a round of applause from the whole school. Such a simple idea yet so effective for all concerned, everyone a winner.
Our top athletes are becoming more and more like untouchable footballers with agents, sponsorship fees, media training, media hype and becoming less able to give back when it matters. The 2012 Olympics were a fantastic opportunity to inspire a nation into becoming proud to be active and proud to show the world we are not just pie eating pot bellied replica shirt wearing bunch of fatties.
Years ago I was lucky enough to visit Cameroon when Roger Miller was tearing up defences in the national stadium to justify his World cup selection. What left more of a memory than his famous bicycle kick into the top corner was the local roundabout south of the stadium. This roundabout was the only area for miles with streetlights. This giant roundabout had roughly a thousand men, women an children jogging, sprinting, stretching, playing sport and being part of an active community. It really was a sight to behold.
It is not as difficult as it seems to inspire people to be active. It is just the very idea of it appears to be filled with excuses and poor organisation. A year ago when our precious athletes where not in Olympic incubation they could of put together a simple activity programme to be completed in all schools for all kids. The certificates could have been handed out last day of summer term to give real momentum to the games, made it less London centric and given real purpose to everyone after the torch has gone out.
It has been left to the fast food chains, fizzy drink, dodgy breakfast cereals and chocolate manufacturers to inspire a fat nation into action, it's a dead cert for podium finish. Lets hope West Ham at least fill the Olympic stadium every fortnight as it will be the only track with any action on it.