Expert panel debates Olympic legacy

The panel debate the legacy of London 2012

“Will London 2012 'inspire a generation' and be the first Olympics to deliver a participatory legacy?” was the theme of an open debate at the Bramall Music Building.

Led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Eastwood, the debate panel comprised several influential sporting figures including Lisa O’Keefe (Director of Sport for Sport England) and Sir John Armitt CBE (Chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority).

Key issues discussed included how the Olympics can address the broader physical activity and heath agenda of the nation. Other areas debated included the role of governing bodies such as the IOC and LOCOG in preserving a legacy, as well as the need to create a greater sporting infrastructure to facilitate mass participation in the future.

Former Sports Minister Rt Honourable Richard Carbon said: ‘The Olympics will be huge success and will inspire the young and the nation. We can be proud of this, whether we can capitalise on things is another issue. There is still a major disconnect between primary schools, clubs, community clubs, and local authorities when it comes to sport.’

The debate was open to the public with questions and answers from the audience after the main discussion, then a final consensus being drawn open by the Vice-Chancellor who said:

‘We will have a great Olympics, the debate has demonstrated that there will be a legacy. However, we must make a concerted effort to make progress after the games if a great legacy is to be achieved.’

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive for Sport Scotland who also sat on the panel says ‘This was a fantastic debate; everyone in the room should be inspired!’

‘We have responsibilities to find out ways to get involved and use the momentum of the Olympics to engage in sport.’

This event marked the launch of the new School of Sport and Exercise Sciences which brings together the existing school and the University's Department of Sport Pedagogy. Building on existing strengths, the integrated school will develop and apply knowledge in the sciences of sport, exercise, health and rehabilitation. The mission of the School is to facilitate sport performance and inform appropriate forms of physical activity for health and well-being for all stages of life. To find out more about the school click here.