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An exclusive interview with Lord Sebastian Coe


An exclusive interview with Lord Sebastian Coe

Lord Seb Coe, President of the LOCOG,  speaks to sportanddev about the success of the International Inspiration programme and the economic and social developments in the city of London as a result of the Olympics

sportanddev:The vision that the London bid set was to use the Games to inspire youth to choose sport. Do you believe that this vision has been achieved?

Lord Sebastian Coe:

Yes, absolutely. I am proud to see the vision we set out during our bid in Singapore of helping millions of children and young people around the world come to fruition. I have seen for myself the positive impact that a programme like International Inspiration is having on young people around the world.

Sport can be a real force for good – it’s always been an essential part of my life and I know the benefits it can bring. It can help change lives, break down barriers to social isolation and participation, and provide greater social cohesion which can give young people hope and better alternatives.

This is why I am delighted that over 12 million people have had the opportunity to take part in high quality sport, play and PE opportunities. Our vision from the outset was to use the power of the Games to inspire change, engaging and inspiring the youth of the world through sport, and International Inspiration has helped us achieve this.

sportanddev: Stratford and Newham are marked by high levels of poverty and unemployment; Newham is also one of England’s youngest and most ethnically diverse boroughs. What, in your opinion, will be the social impacts and legacies of the Olympics in these areas?

S.C: The diversity of London was one of the key reasons why London was awarded the right to host the Games and from the start we have been committed to ensuring that people from all backgrounds and communities could play their part in the London 2012 Games.

The London 2012 Games have already brought huge opportunities in terms of employment and we have worked hard to ensure as many people as possible could benefit from these opportunities, including those who were long-term unemployed and young people. We have also been committed to recruiting 15-20% of our workforce from the six Host Boroughs and I am proud that we are already beating this target.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games have brought a generation’s worth of investment and regeneration in just a few years. 75p in every £1 of public money invested in the Games will go towards the regeneration and the London 2012 Games will also leave fantastic social, economic and sporting legacy.

After the Games have finished, we will be leaving behind new homes, some incredible sporting facilities, improved transport links and the opportunity for thousands of new jobs to be created. We are proud that this is happening thanks to the Games.


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Vangelis Alexandrakis


Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 11:01