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London2012 fails to 'Inspire a Generation' in Newham

London 2012 is still not inspiring people in the host borough of Newham to take up sport. A recent report from UKActive showed that the borough was home to the least active population in England. A second host Borough, Barking and Dagenham, came second in the list. UKActive also highlighted the unsurprising finding that participation was lowest in the poorest parts of the county. But not only is poverty a marker for lower rates of activity so, perhaps surprisingly, is youth. Far from inspiring sport participation among the 'target' age group of 16-25 year olds the period after the Games witnessed an actual decline in activity in this age group.

Oddly enough sport participation is not necessarily accompanied by a decline in obesity, a benefit usually claimed by those advocating for sport. As Australian researchers have noted it is diet and lifestyle rather than sport participation which is at the heart of tackling obesity. Obesity among children in Australia rose even as level of participation rose, hardly helped by the Olympics promotion of fizzy drinks and burgers particularly to young people.

Of course the message about 'participation' has got slightly confused in recent times with Lord Sir Seb claiming that the London Anniversary Games of 2013 would inspire the "next generation of track and field fans". But then the expansion of sports fandom is really what the Olympics is about. Watching Olympic sport on tv and eating and drinking Olympics sponsored food and drink helps keep the IOC in business.

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Police 'assisted' Olympic blacklisters

Police denials that they were involved in briefing the blacklisting agency, the Consulting Association, have taken another knock with the leaking of minutes of a meeting of representatives of construction companies in 2008 at which a Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Mills was present. Allegations about the activities of the Association and blacklisting of workers on the Olympics site had been denied by the ODA leading to criticism by the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee. Both the Information Commissioner's Office and the Independent Police Complaints Commission had insisted they have evidence of police involvement with the blacklisting organisation but the police had claimed there was no evidence of this. The leaked minutes report that Mills said he was there to 'liaise with industry'. The police have failed to respond to Freedom of Information requests for documents relating to the activities of the former National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (Netcu) of which Mills was an officer saying they do not have any information about his meetings with the Consulting Agency.

The Chair of the Commons Select Committee had said the ODA were either 'deceived, gullible or negligent'. Plainly the police were among those doing the deceiving.

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2 years con

Britain’s Personal Best, which aimed to build on the Olympic Games by encouraging people to excel in athletic, educational or creative challenges. Given £997,960 in April 2013 by the Big Lottery Fund, it claimed it would sign up 120,000 people to take on challenges in their community – but was wound up within months after failing to meet all the milestones the Big Lottery Fund had set.

I'll just leave this here, it's from Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse in today's Indy.

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Rio - Favela do Metrô may not have been paradise...

While the world's football fans and media ooh and aah over the football action those living in favelas in Brazil's host cities continue to face eviction and the demolition of their homes for both the World Cup and the Olympics, sometimes just to make way for a parking lot as with the Favela do Metrô-Mangueira near to the famous Maracanã stadium. Families have ended up 75 kilometres away at Cosmos while others who were squatting in the half demolished favela were violently ejected and left homeless.

And the parking lot? It's just rubble, waiting for a developer to make a killing.


light at the end of the tunnel

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bailout bonus bonanza

Boosted by their bailouts, LendLease and 'London and Continental Railways' (aka the Department for Transport) are building big in Stratford City. Diamondgeezer recently deconstructed Glasshouse Gardens, linking at the end to the promotional brochure[PDF] - My Guide Stratford.

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pussy whipped putin

Having contrived to get themselves horse-whipped by some of Putin's cossacks yesterday, Pussy Riot's Sochi 2014 themed video for Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland is out there already. The lyrics with helpful annotations can be found on The New Republic.

Meanwhile, two members of the Ukranian Olympic team just quit, abandoning Sochi "in solidarity with fighters on the Maidan barricades" (via @markmackinnon).

There was also some discussion punted into the long grass of 'Agenda 2020' at this morning's IOC press conference about Ukranian team members wishes to wear black armbands in recognition of the Euromaidan death toll (via @andymiah).

But of course the Olympics aren't political!

Update; 20/2/2014 17:30
Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot on the Olympics’ Deceptive Face

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Brits in Controversy at Sochi2014

At least some people know what really matters. Amidst all the controversy over LGBT rights and abuse, the role of sponsors, arrests of activists, the evictions and suffering of local people, mistreatment of migrant workers building the venues, massive environmental damage, corruption, athlete activism and the 150th anniversary of the Circassian genocide British athletes at Sochi2014 got down to some serious criticism - of how far they had to walk.

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They didn't blame it on the snowboarder

Norwegian snowboarding medal hope Torstein Horgmo has been ruled out of Sochi2014 after breaking his collar bone in an accident on the slopestyle course. This has been enough to cause the authorities to make alterations to the course. Pity no-one paid similar attention to the accidents which happened at Vancouver2010 prior to the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in a similarly preventable accident. Instead they blamed it on the luger.

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London2012 tourism - Hark, now hear the sailors cry...

First lies, then farce. After all the self-serving lies about the benefits of London2012 comes the claim from the British Marine Federation that the annual contribution of UK boating tourism in 2013-2013 outweighed the 'total tourism impact of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games between 2005 and 2017 (including pre-Games visits, the Games themselves and the estimated ongoing Legacy effect).'

Hark, now hear the sailors cry...

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