There is much fanfare today around the first cabinet meeting of 2012 being held at the Olympic Park with one of the key items on the agenda: how the London 2012 Games can bring lasting legacy to the UK. Six of the eight major facilities now have a legacy plan to benefit local communities and elite athletes but, whilst beneficial for a few, this is a far cry from the wide ranging grassroots sporting legacy that was promised back in 2005.
The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, run by national charity Fields in Trust and supported by Asda, will ensure that communities across the whole UK will benefit from the 2012 Games and the Diamond Jubilee. Over 1000 playing fields, playgrounds, bicycle trails, coastal paths and parks have been nominated so far to be permanently protected from development ensuring that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor sport and play. Marked by a commemorative plaque the Queen Elizabeth II Fields will also benefit from improvement funding programmes from, amongst others, Sport England and SITA Trust and will have the opportunity to host a celebratory event on the site over the Diamond Jubilee weekend.
Alison Moore-Gwyn, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust, said: ‘The Olympic venues are truly inspirational and will allow the UK to host an Olympic Games we can all be proud of but it is vital that the impact of the Games extends well beyond the summer and autumn of 2012 and well beyond East London. Our Diamond Jubilee legacy programme will provide access to all kinds of recreational facility to communities the length and breadth of the country and, most importantly, will continue to do so for generations to come: this can truly be celebrated and enjoyed as The Legacy by people throughout the UK.
Supported by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge so far but it is not too late to get involved and we’re urging all Local Authorities and Town and Parish Councils to nominate their recreational sites and participate in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.’