The forth of this week’s pause for thought on BBC Radio 2 covers Communities working towards 2012 Olympics in London.
Today’s broadcast can be heard by clicking on the play button below:
Transcript from today’s PfT (agreed with the producer):
Communities working towards London 2012
In the middle of December, I attended an event at the Olympics organisation centre in Canary Wharf. It was inspiring to see so many people from different communities getting involved in the various projects for 2012. In fact, Lord Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the organising committee, spoke about how crucial London’s emphasis on communities had been to helping it win the bid to host the Games.
We were then treated to a video presentation outlining the progress made to date. There were, of course, the now classic pictures of the bid team in Singapore with their hands covering their faces in heavy anticipation, awaiting the verdict of who would host the games in 2012, followed by the wonderful scenes of celebration as the team embraced one another. I must admit, I felt a warm sense of pride that a country that my parents made home back in 1958 has this opportunity to shine globally.
The video went on to outline some of the long-term community projects which are coming out of the planning for the Games. At the reception afterwards, I met one of the Games organisers who has developed a national campaign to help some of the most disadvantaged to improve their job prospects. The scheme’s called Personal Best and uses the excitement of the 2012 Games to promote training for an accredited volunteering qualification, while also offering participants support into further volunteering, training or work.
So often, it’s not what you initially take out of something but about what you put in. And that’s no truer said than when you’re talking about voluntary work. There may not be a personal financial gain, but for many across the country, voluntary work – be it for a charity, a club, or a religious organisation – can be a wonderfully satisfying and worthwhile use of spare time.
And the Olympic’s Personal Best scheme is a great example of the Games giving people not just a fabulous fortnight of sporting and cultural entertainment, but the long-term opportunity of job prospects, helping communities to create a legacy which will live long – well beyond the time the last spectator has left the Olympic stadium.