As the excitement of the Olympics subsides, one political story is emerging – the question of how to secure the vibrant and lasting legacy these games deserve.
I am all for a healthy enthusiasm for sport and competitiveness but, as someone who was not blessed with a natural talent for team sports, I take a cautious view of the Prime Minister’s call for compulsory competitive sports – such as football, rugby and hockey – to form such a large part of the primary school curriculum.
I eventually found my forte to be racket sports – and I still enjoy a weekly game of squash. I am convinced that what is needed is not further impositions on hardpressed teachers but an open-minded appreciation of the richness and variety of minority sports and greater opportunities for youngsters to access them.
That is where the members of extracurricular sport and community clubs have such a vital role to play – allowing their Olympic memories to inspire them to share their love of their sports with the younger generation.
Salisbury is already blessed with a whole range of thriving clubs with a strong emphasis on youth participation, from City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club to Salisbury Stingrays and the clubs based at Skew Bridge.
I have no doubt that, in the weeks and months ahead, Lord Coe will deliver a coherent and sensible plan to make London’s games the most successful ever in terms of legacy.
However, we are well-placed to capitalise on the enthusiasm and positivity surrounding sport at the moment in order to build our own Olympic legacy right here in Salisbury.
Meanwhile, as recess continues, I am still catching up with surgeries, meetings and home visits in the constituency – discussing developments at SWAN Advocacy and addressing the future of local post office services inHarnham and elsewhere.
Sadly, one engagement has had to be temporarily removed from my diary following the news that the relaunch of St Francis’s Church hall has been delayed by the theft of internal cabling by low-lifes.
This is not only a sickening crime but a bitter disappointment for a community that has worked so hard to rebuild following the terrible fire. However, I know that they will bounce back once again and I look forward to celebrating with them when the hall is finally restored to full use.