SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Sport and Active Leisure welcomes the call for ‘clear, identifiable, national ownership of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy’, as recommended by the House of Lords Select Committee’s November 18th report, which considered the Olympics London 2012’s enduring sporting and regeneration legacy.

Ian Taylor, CEO of SkillsActive and Olympic gold medallist, says, “We’re pleased the ‘Keeping the flame alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy’ report focuses attention of finding a unified approach to ensuring the promised legacy of the 2012 Olympics. SkillsActive recognises that sustained, long-term investment is essential for ensuring a sea-change in people’s attitude and participation in healthy activities. Inspiring an active, healthy population will take concerted, ongoing effort, over many years, in the sports and physical activity sector.

The report commented on the ‘lack of clear ownership’ in delivery of the Olympics 2012 legacy, recommended ‘one minister be given overall responsibility for the many strands of the legacy, working with the devolved administrations to ensure UK-wide coordination.’

Ian Taylor says, “We know people were inspired by Team GB’s athletes at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. However, a recent large-scale UK survey showed 25% of boys and 33% of girls aged between two and 19 years are overweight or obese; more than a quarter of adults in England were classified as obese in 2010. Obesity and weight issues already cost the NHS £5 billion each year. By 2050, obesity is predicted to affect 60% of adult men, 50% of adult women, and 25% of all children under 16 years of age, with associated obesity-related diseases costing an extra £45.5 billion per year[i]. To avoid an obesity epidemic in the UK, it is critically important that we encourage professionals to work together to ensure a cohesive approach to the nations’ fitness and physical activity.

London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony by Nick J Webb

London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony by Nick J Webb

SkillsActive works with employers, practitioners and stakeholders, encompassing everything from setting standards for qualifications to helping individuals find the right career and directing employers to the best training and qualifications for staff.

Ian Taylor adds, “To consistently engage people in sport and physical activity, we need to ensure they get a quality experience, delivered by appropriately qualified coaches, providers and staff. Ensuring a qualified sector workforce that performs to high expectations will reconnect people to the enjoyment of physical activities, and help them commit to a fit and healthy lifestyle."

Ian Taylor concludes, “SkillsActive is keen to work with the government on ensuring professional standards in the sectors covering sport, fitness and wellbeing. By ensuring a focused, unified and professional approach, we can cultivate a strong national culture of sports participation, and ensure the Olympics London 2012 legacy is upheld for all future generations.

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