Since then, people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds from around the UK have played a part in the preparations for hosting the greatest show on earth, gaining employment, learning about the Games in schools, attending London 2012 Open Weekend community events and getting involved in local projects awarded the London 2012 Inspire mark.
London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) made sure that all sectors of society have been involved from the start of the preparations. This meant implementing diversity schemes across all areas, including the workforce, suppliers, athletes and officials, and spectators.
As part of the ‘Everyone’s Games’ mantra, LOCOG also implemented a carefully considered pricing policy, to allow people of all backgrounds the chance to watch an event of their choice. Tickets were made available for £20 in all Olympic Games events, and for £10 in all Paralympic Games events, while a ‘pay your age’ tickets initiative for young people also took place.
Nearly 80 per cent of UK schools have signed up to LOCOG’s Olympic education programme, ‘Get Set’, which celebrates with children the Olympic values of respect, friendship and excellence, and the Paralympic values of determination and equality. Speaking at a press conference, LOCOG Chair Seb Coe described how: “It is clearly not just about the young people in the field of play, it is the young people I am seeing in the venues, the families that are clustering around our live sites and in the venues themselves. They are all joining in.”
A Women into Construction project ensured that females were given the opportunity to build the Olympic Park, while the Action on Inclusion project helped people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities to apply for paid jobs.
From an international perspective, more than 200 pre-Games training camp (PGTC) agreements were signed across the UK. These were organised through formal agreements, or Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), between cities in the UK, National Olympic and Paralympic Committees (NOC/NPC) and international sports teams. The camps provided athletes with a base from which to prepare, train and acclimatise ahead of the Games, while also encouraging teams to actively engage in cultural and education activities with the local community.
In addition to these benefits, Seb Coe also highlighted the positive impact they have had on athletes from smaller countries, adding: “The camps have given over 50 per cent of those National Olympic Committees that bring 10 or less athletes to this country the opportunity to prepare in exactly the way that the better resourced, the more well-heeled National Olympic Committees are able to prepare their teams.”