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2012 lifestyle project ‘could be wasted’

25 March 2011

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There is no guarantee that London 2012’s unprecedented commitment to create healthier lifestyles will become a reality, an independent watchdog has claimed.

The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, set up to assure and monitor the sustainability of the Olympic project, fears the hard work by the Locog, the London 2012 organisers, and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) could go to waste.

Commission Chair Shaun McCarthy said: “Health and inclusion issues are closely intertwined – many health outcomes are heavily dependent on social inequalities.

“We want the 2012 games to have a knock-on ‘halo’ effect that embraces factors such as employment and participation in sport.

“This would be a legacy that lasts for years, and would benefit whole families and communities. For this to happen we need to ensure that hard work done by the ODA and Locog to date won’t go to waste once the games are over.”

These two 2012 organisations are carrying out “exemplary” work to try and promote healthy living and tackle issues such as employment and housing, the commission said in its review.

They also noted: “The commission is concerned that it will be impossible to prove whether one of the London 2012 games’ most ambitious aims has been met: the aim to create a clear link between hosting the games and improving the health of people living in London.”

This link has never been proven by a host city before.

By failing to research current levels of Londoners’ physical activity and general health, there is no baseline from which success can be determined, the commission argued.

Copyright © Press Association 2011