Government broke promise to do better in UK after 2012 Olympics, report says | Olympic games

He was supposed to “inspire a generation” and leave behind a healthier, more active population. Yet promises that the London 2012 Olympics would boost participation in sport have not been kept, a new parliamentary report has found.

A lasting legacy of participation was a key part of the government’s £8.8bn plans for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including pledges to increase the number of adults taking part in sporting activities. However, the cross-party Public Accounts Committee said the promised benefits had not been delivered, with the proportion of adults taking part in sport at least once a week actually falling in the first three years after the Games.

He also accused Sport England, the body tasked with increasing participation, of not knowing the destination of two-thirds of the £1.5bn in grants it paid out in a bid to boost sporting activity – a claim the organization disputed.

In 2015, the government changed course, focusing on local approaches to increase participation and focusing on the least active. It was actually a concession that he was too reliant on the Games to achieve higher participation rates. However, the commission concluded that the exchange rate change still did not result in a significant increase in national participation rates.

In one of its most worrying findings, it said that of the £1.5bn in grants handed out by Sport England since 2016, the body only knows where £450m went – while the proportion of active adults rose by just 1.2 percentage points from 2016 to 2019

The commission concluded that despite spending £323m a year since 2015, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – as well as Sport England – had made “little progress” in tackling inequalities and barriers to participation.

Almost two in five adults in England do not meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for recommended activity, it said. They state that adults should complete at least two and a half hours of “moderate-intensity activity”, such as walking or cycling, or 75 minutes of “vigorous-intensity activity”, such as running, each week.

Meg Hillier, the committee’s Labor chair, who is also MP for the east London borough of Hackney, blamed a “lack of vision and drive”. “After the short-term financial boost, there was very little to show in terms of legacy, even in my immediate area of ​​East London where the 2012 Games were held,” she said.

Sport England disputed the report, claiming activity levels were at a “record high” before the pandemic. He said he knows which organizations have spent the money from the donations and what he should work with them to understand the geographic distribution of the funds.

A spokesman said: “Our annual active life data recently confirmed that, despite major disruption over the past two years, participation in sport and activity continues to recover, with children’s activity already back to pre-pandemic levels.”

A government spokesman said: “Activity levels for young people have now returned to pre-pandemic levels and we continue to work with Sport England to invest in sport for all, recently announcing £320m for schools and more than £260m to build or upgrade thousands of grassroots facilities.

“We will soon publish a new sports strategy setting out our ambition to continue to increase activity rates and we will respond to the committee’s report in due course.”

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