April 28 - Mobile swimming pools, boxing academies, street athletics in every borough and competitive sport for disabled children were all schemes announced by London Mayor Boris Johnson (pictured) today.
"A Sporting Future for London", which was unveiled by the Mayor Boris Johnson and his Sports Commissioner, Kate Hoey today, will see a total of over £30 million invested into grass-roots sport in London by 2012.
More than one fifth of children are classified as obese in the capital, with 50 per cent of Londoners defined as "inactive", research has claimed.
NHS London estimates that this inactivity costs £105 million per year.
‘A Sporting Future for London’ aims to significantly boost participation by Londoners of all ages in grassroots sports, creating a real lasting sporting legacy and making London an even better place to live and work, Johnson said.
The plan’s core legacy goals are to get more people active in sport, strengthen sporting infrastructure in the capital, build capacity and skills, and strengthen delivery so that there is a more coordinated provision of grass-roots sport in the capital.
To ensure that these goals are met, the Mayor announced the setting up of a new strategic forum, the London Community Sports Board, which will improve the coordination of ongoing activity across the capital, drive delivery and monitor progress towards meeting the legacy goals.
The Board, chaired by Hoey, will work with key delivery partners, monitor progress on the implementation of the Plan, support the delivery of stakeholders’ existing aims and objectives, and advise the Mayor on sporting priorities for London.
Johnson said: “We have a unique opportunity with the 2012 Games to set in place a lasting legacy for sport provision across the capital.
"The success of the Olympics must not be judged on regeneration benefits in the East of London alone. This is a once in a lifetime chance to increase sport participation and activity, tackle social and health inequalities and bring the capital’s communities together under the same vision.
"Under Kate’s watchful eye, this plan will set in motion the tools needed to build on the many exciting projects and partnerships that are already in place in London, as well as providing new solutions.
“Throughout our consultation, there was a great deal of recognition that a more co-ordinated approach was required in the capital to deliver our goals.
"The publication of this plan signals my clarion call to all those involved with the delivery of sport and physical activity to now work in partnership, giving added impetus to ongoing work and cementing London’s position as the true home of sport.”
Hoey said: “The Mayor's commitment is a very significant stepping stone in the creation of a truly lasting and impactful sporting legacy for London.
"The Mayor and I are confident that, through this Plan, the will and tools for success are now in place and we are on track for London being the first host city to see a sustained increase in participation as a result of hosting the 2012 Games.
“Our Plan is supported by every key stakeholder and for the first time that I can recall there is a real and palpable sense that we are all pulling together in the right direction with one clear voice.
"Today we are putting down the marker and I am confident that when the flame is extinguished in the Olympic Stadium in 2012 every Londoner will feel that they have gained something worthwhile.”
Johnson said that he wants to ensure an increase in sport participation and physical activity, assisting and complementing programmes already in place that tackle social problems including crime, academic underachievement and lack of community cohesion.
This commitment will assist to ensure a coordinated pan-London approach to the activities of a number of sporting stakeholders and partners and, by taking a strategic lead on London-wide issues affecting sport and physical activity, will add value to ongoing work and fill gaps in existing provision, he claimed.
To access a copy of ‘A Sporting Future For London’ please go click here.