Sports Participation (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
November 18, 2009
Question By: 
Andrew Boff
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Mr Mayor, would you undertake possibly to contact John Amaechi, the former basketball star, who was an ambassador for the original Olympic bid, who says that he is not convinced that the language used around legacy, when bidding, is the same that we are using now, and is concerned that both LOCOG and the ODA are falling back on to the physical legacy of the Olympics, rather than what was part of the bid, to increase sports participation? He is very concerned - and I have talked to him myself - that there are not the sports coaches in place and there is not the support for the amateur clubs in place, to turn the enthusiasm that will be generated by the Olympics into young people involving themselves, for their lives, in sport.

I think it is a noble aspiration that this would be the one Olympics which could actually turn the tide of the Olympics because no previous Olympics actually has resulted --

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Sports Participation (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Sports Participation (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

No. You are right.

Andrew Boff (AM): -- in an increase in sports participation. We have got to treat this seriously, we have got to have a programme in place and we cannot just rely on hope that sports participation will increase. So I would encourage you, sir, to contact him and take his views on board.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): John Amaechi?

Andrew Boff (AM): John Amaechi.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I certainly will. This is of huge importance. Look at the map of deprivation in London. The areas of poverty. They are overwhelmingly congruent with the areas of low sports participation. There is a direct overlap between those two phenomena. We have got to do something about it. We are, of course, doing a huge amount in supporting not just boxing clubs but also, of course, the Kickz programme, which we want to extend throughout London. We want to see Kickz rugby, for instance, taking off in boroughs where they do not handle an elliptical ball very much and we want to see far more progress generally.

These things have to be measured. If we are going to put taxpayers' money into it we have to measure the outputs.

Andrew Boff (AM): I would agree with you, Mr Mayor. I would also ask you to contact those boroughs and just ask them what programmes they have in place to capture that enthusiasm there will be around the Olympics and turn that into active participation, because I cannot see any.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I do disagree. I think what Kate [Hoey] is doing with the new London Sports Board is going to be very, very inspirational and I do think it will help us to drive an Olympic sporting legacy for London. I accept that it is going to be difficult --

Andrew Boff (AM): Along with the inspiration, Mr Mayor, we also need a programme in place.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): There is such a thing. I invite you, if you have not yet done so, to talk to Kate [Hoey] about what she is doing and about what she is doing, in particular, to bring everybody who is interested in this, not just in the boroughs but in all the sporting bodies together, to get a proper sporting legacy from the Olympics, because she is doing a huge amount of work on this.

Andrew Boff (AM): Thank you, Mr Mayor.