Saturday, 24 May 2008

Sport In London

This week, construction began on the 2012 Olympic Stadium in East London – several weeks ahead of schedule. But before the Beijing Olympics have even started, the media are openly debating what the various London facilities should be used for post-2012. To spend millions (or is it billions?) on an event which only lasts a few weeks may seem ridiculous but, if all goes to plan, the local people should reap the rewards in a number of ways. Employment prospects are already looking better pre and post Olympics; regeneration should increase the value of property in the area significantly and locals will have new sporting facilities to be proud of. I would imagine there will be a right Royal hoo-ha if, for some reason, the Olympic committee fail to deliver for the local people. Let’s hope that all those people who lost their homes to make way for this immense sporting project will feel their significant sacrifice was worth it for the future of British sport.

As a West Ham United football supporter, I had hoped that the Olympic stadium may eventually become our new ground but it seems that is an unlikely outcome now. Latest reports suggest that a local rugby team may move in there when the Olympics have finished and the stadium has been altered for its new use. Personally, as long as it is utilised well, I don’t really mind who takes over. Besides, we have plenty of time left to discuss and (probably) decry the future use of the Olympic facilities.

Monday is, of course, a Bank Holiday in the UK. These all too rare national holidays are a good excuse to do something different with your loved ones or friends. Don’t sit at home and watch bad movies on the TV. Don’t let the rain and wind make you stay indoors. Don’t stay in bed all day bemoaning the fact you have to return to work on Tuesday. Get outside and discover London and all the wonderful places it has to visit. Parents often complain there is little to do with the kids during half-term holiday but with the London Pass there are over 50 attractions to visit and enjoy. Kids and adults will love the sports stadium tours on offer and also the free cycling tours around London. We are all being encouraged to get more exercise these days so why not see some of the famous London sights while pedalling to your hearts content?

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