The legacy created by London 2012 runs far deeper than the tangible benefits of new state-of-the-art venues to be found in the Olympic Park and dotted around the capital and the rest of the UK.
Organisers have also worked hard to use the Games as a catalyst for positive change and inspiration, creating new initiatives and programmes that will lead to sustainable social, economic and sporting legacies at home in the UK and around the world.
Since winning the bid to host the Olympic Games, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has worked tirelessly to ensure that athletes and sport are at the heart of the Games. With this agenda in mind, encouraging sports participation in the wider community has always been a key priority.
Initiatives include the 2012 National School Sports Week, which 14,000 schools and more than five million young people took part in earlier this year. Other commendable programmes include the London 2012 Inspire programme, which officially recognises outstanding projects and events inspired by the Games.
Meanwhile, ‘The Games and beyond’ emails are part of an initiative set up with Sport England, which provide London 2012 ticketholders with event information as well as details of how they can get involved and try out new sports once the Games are over.
London 2012 has also been used as a vehicle for connecting with vulnerable young people around the world and introducing them to sport. International Inspiration is a groundbreaking sports legacy programme that has initiated more than 900 sport-specific projects across every nation and region to develop sports participation and physical activity schemes for people of all ages. It has already helped more than 12 million young people in 20 countries, from Azerbaijan to Zambia, experience sport.
In recognition of the inclusive spirit of London 2012, the Games have provided thousands of Londoners from all ethnicities, ages and backgrounds with jobs and training during this extended period of economic uncertainty, leaving long-term social and economic benefits for London and the UK.
London 2012 will also have a lasting impact on businesses operating throughout the UK. Many of those awarded contracts to work on the Games will have had to adapt their supply chains and working practices, from improving their equality and inclusion or health and safety policies to developing new approaches to sustainable or accessible design. These elements will continue to be applied in their future work, having a positive impact on the working conditions of these industries.