POSTED: July 16th 2009

Shadow Minister frets over London 2012 venues project

Green and pleasant future - or an opportunity missed? / London 2012
Green and pleasant future - or an opportunity missed? / London 2012

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: The value of the venues legacy to be left by the 2012 Olympic Games in London has been questioned by the Shadow Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson.

He has expressed his concern about both the future use of the Olympic Stadium itself and also the tangible legacy for “our key summer Olympic sports” - 17 of which will not emerge from the Games project with a permanent facility.

Robertson, in a column in the Daily Telegraph, pushed further forward with a debate which has complex political ramifications since he is the official spokesman on sport for the Parliamentary Opposition while the Mayor of London is a fellow Conservative in Boris Johnson.

Robertson acknowledged the long-term value of the facilities developed at Weymouth on the south coast for the sailing competition. However he picked up on the ongoing controversy over the shooting venue by questioning the sense of creating a temporary facility at Woolwich rather than investing in the sport’s competitive headquarters at Bisley.

He also criticised a reduction in the share of National Lottery funds being directed to sport.

Robertson added: “The irony is that this comes at a time when so much to do with London 2012 is going so well. However if, in 2012, the area around Stratford has been transformed but no more people and enjoying the opportunities available through sport, we will have missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Discussion over venues legacy may revive the original London debate over how tightly and city-specific the Games should be when investment in permanent venues for many sports might be more valuably employed around the country.

Keywords · London 2012 · Olympic Games · Hugh Robertson · Boris Johnson · legacy · venues · shooting · Bisley · Woolwich

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