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Sport participation on target - in 25 years

Amid the welter of failing Olympic Legacies come the latest figures on sport participation which show it will take 25 years for the government to reach its reduced Olympic Legacy target of getting another million people involved in sport three times a week. 14 sports actually showed a statistically significant decrease in the numbers particpating once a week. And that doesn't take into account the effect of the coming budget cuts.

Still, when it comes to jobs the government has allowed itself 30 years to achieve a Legacy of 50,000 jobs, even if that target has to be treated 'with caution'. So adopting similar reasoning in this case, allowing 25 years for its achievement and treating the projections 'with caution', sport participation is on target! We may get somewhere sometime.


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Businesses can see their money but not touch it

Not an outcome I expected. The Olympics are beginning to make me feel quite sorry for business! Small, independent hotels and reataurants will find themselves unable to profit from advance bookings. PriceWaterhouseCoopers is assisting European Olympic Committees, who are worried about businesses going bankrupt, by setting up accounts in which money for bookings can be kept but not paid on to the companies until the event. They will be able to see their money but not actually get their hands on it! This delayed payment scheme is called escrow.

Maybe a better name would be Olympicscrew!


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It's a kind of nightmare! Small businesses advised to close for Olympics

So hotels are likely to experience a flip side, local businesses are affected by events and construction work and are not compensated and tourism will suffer! Now small businesses are being advised they should close down because of the disruption they may suffer from the Olympic traffic restrictions.

Nick Winch, the Federation of Small Businesses' London policy manager, said: "We are considering advising our members to simply shut down during the Olympics - it may be the better thing to do rather than operating at 30 per cent capacity.

"If as a small business you are dependent on making or receiving deliveries and the roads make this impossible then you will have to make a judgment. The advantage if you were a small business would be that your staff would take their holidays at this time when they would not be able to function at 100 per cent."

The ODA has failed to provide information about who is going to be affected by the routes and by bans on right hand turns, closures of side roads and suspension of loading bays.

Mr Winch added: "If we had a broad indication about the routes our members could start to work out how it is going to affect them. At the moment there is great uncertainty. We can't believe they don't already know what routes are being affected."

Businesses most likely to be affected will be those needing daily deliveries and which are situated near routes and events.

It's a kind of nightmare!


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The magic of Mcdonalds - facing two ways on the Olympics

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's chief for Northern Europe, on Mcdonalds and the Olympics: "One thing we are not seeking is brand awareness,"

Easterbrook on ambush marketing at the Olympics: "We will protect our rights, I can assure you of that."

I get it. Protecting your brand rights is not brand awareness.


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Hotels warned of 'flip side' to the Olympics

More knock on effects of the Olympics.

VisitBritain admitted ahead of a report shortly to be published by the European Tourism Operators Association that tourism would suffer during the Olympics. Makes me wonder if VB did this because they knew the ETOA was about to issue its report.

Now PriceWaterhouseCoopers has warned of a setback for the hotel trade if too much new accommodation is dumped on the market as hoteliers try to take make a quirck buck out of the Olympics.

Liz Hall, head of hotels research at PwC, said: "Hotels that are expanding to capture Olympic trade alone are rather missing the point.

"The impact should be positive but short lived and will be dependent on location. On the flip side, some leisure visitors may well shun London at all costs to avoid congestion or security fears."

Liz is on the money. A lot of people are missing the point, there are lots of flip sides to the Olympics!


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Another Olympics, another overspend!

Hey, what's new? Another Olympics another overspend! This time it was Singapore's Youth Olympics. S$107 million ($80 million) ballooned to S$387 million.

"We were plain wrong," Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan said. "We ... underestimated the requirements and the consequential cost for several major functional areas in hosting the Games."

Did that faze him? Of course not. What's a few hundred million Singapore dollars?

"The investment is an amount that will give us value for money in terms of positioning and marketing ourselves, and making sure we are on the international community's radar screens."

Sounds like the 'World City' argument again.

Of course, Rogge thought it was great but elsewhere the Games were criticised for poor attendance, sub-standard construction, traffic lanes, a poor opening ceremony & concert, low ticket sales, ill treatment of volunteers, sub-standard food, "arranged" supporters and even possibly mass food poisoning!


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Now Locog wants a crap clock in Trafalgar Square

Locog just can't keep track of the time. They've already got an Olympic clock in Stratford to countdown to 2012 but now it wants another one in Trafalgar Square. Stratford's icon deficit has already been remarked on and this is further evidence that East London is losing ground in the Olympic icon wars.

The clock also establishes the right of any piece of Olympic crap to be stuck up regardless of its quality. Despite saying of the Omega sponsored brushed stainless steel structure “there is much to take issue with in terms of design” and its “asymmetrical position, its substantial height, the cladding materials and the illumination” Westminster planners recommended it should be allowed. And why would that be pray? As Bill Clinton might have put it, it's the Olympics stupid!


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Working for free - BoJo's Olympic solution to the cuts

So this is the Olympic future, working for nothing! Volunteering seems to be BoJo's vision of a great Olympic Legacy, a solution to the demolition of the public sector in the name of cutting the deficit. The Olympics meets the Tory Big Society.


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Finally VisitBritain agrees, Olympics displace tourists

VisitBritain has finally admitted that tourist numbers will fall during the Olympics. VisitBritain Chairman Christopher Rodrigues said: "To maintain visitor numbers across the year would be a quite extraordinary achievement; we are seeking to do just that but I am pragmatic enough to know it would be difficult.' Claims of tourism benefits from the Olympics are now replaced by vague assertions of long term gains although these are not borne out by research by the European Tourism Operators Association.

Mr Rodrigues went on to set out how VB was trying to encourage broadcasters to publicise alternative destinations.

"London is not the only port of entry and there is no reason why, for example, Germans cannot come to Scotland during the Games."

Mr Rodriguez said: "We have been in talks with the American network, NBC, among others, about hosting coverage outside the Olympic village to reinforce the message that the whole of the country is accessible to visitors.

"Japanese broadcasters, for example, might consider some of their coverage from Kew Gardens because gardens are very appealing to Japanese visitors."

Well, if Americans aren't aware that Britain as a whole is accessible, Germans haven't heard of Scotland and keen Japanese gardeners need to be told about Kew VB really has got its work cut out.


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Put out more Olympic flags

Mayor BoJo plans to spend £32million on dressing up the centre of London around 'iconic' Trafalgar Square for the Olympics even though the Games are actually happening several miles away to the east. As has already been noted East London just isn't iconic enough. This culturally vital project includes covering a large area around Trafalgar Square with flags, inflatable boxers and an arch over the Westway in the shape of a high jumper. A zip wire will take people eye to eye with iconic Nelson atop his pillar. Well, if they can put up a 115 metres tall leaning sculpture on the Olympic Park and a cable car over the Thames why not a zip wire over Trafalgar Square?

Nelson can always put his telescope to his dodgy eye.


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