London 2012 Legacy - A missed Opportunity?

Posted: Sun, 24 Jul 2022 09:30

London 2012 Legacy - A missed Opportunity?

Just 13% of leaders from across the Sport Sector agreed that the London 2012 Olympics had delivered their Legacy Promise in the latest survey from the Sports Think Tank.

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the London 2012 Games and in the build up to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games the Sports Think Tank surveyed their panel of sports leaders to measure the perception of what the 2012 Games had delivered against their earlier promises.

Andy Reed the Director of the Think Tank said he "was not surprised" by the findings of their survey. The Sports Think Tank asked its panel to assess their feelings against the various legacy promises made ahead of London 2012. "Many promises and plans were made but the 2012 Games were then delivered by a different government in a time of austerity. Proper legacy requires continued long term commitment. We haven't seen that over the whole of the decade"

The survey comes just after the NAO produced its 2012 Legacy Report – Grassroots participation in sport ad physical activity

Overall, just 13% felt that the whole legacy promise had been delivered with 61% claiming the Games had failed to deliver the promises made.

The biggest legacy failures were identified as delivering a sporting and physically active nation and inspiring a generation of young people to create a sporting habit for life.

However, whilst the headline figures show an overall belief that the Games 'failed' to deliver there are some reasons for organisers and policy makers to be cheered by the results.

There is recognition that the economic regeneration of the East of London and the sustainability of the Olympic Park has been a success – especially when compared to previous Olympic host cities.

In addition, sports leaders recognise that the impetus of the 2012 Games did create a system capable of continued medal success at Rio and Tokyo Games - far beyond the original targets set in 2007. (albeit with a cost of mental health and bullying allegations now recognised across several NGBs).

Sports leaders also felt the delivery of major events in the UK post 2012 had improved the international perception of the UK on the world stage – its 'soft power'.

Andy Reed said:

"We can say some elements of the promised Legacy have been delivered – if not unconditionally a success – but the main aim of inspiring a generation of young people to be active for life has not been successful. The recent NAO report probably best sets out this case of why it didn't happen. We must take on board the lessons and ensure future legacy plans are delivered over the long term"


Editors notes:

Questions and Results

The survey asked respondents to score out of 10 their perception of legacy delivery in the specific policy areas:

"Made the UK a World-leading sporting nation. "

Average score 6.4

"Delivered funding for an elite Olympic and Paralympic sport until Rio 2016 – "

Average score 7.5

"Investment to turn the Olympic Park into a sustainable Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and transform the East end of London"

Average 6.8

"Invest in Youth Sport Strategy encouraging a 'sporting habits for life'"

Average 4

"Deliver 20 major sporting events in the UK by 2019 "

Average 6.1

"Introduction of the School Games programme and County Sports Festivals "

Average 5.6

"Inspired a generation to take up sport and physical activity (2 million suggested in the bid document)

Average 3.6

Where the leaders come from







Sport Business






PA provider


Do You believe the Games delivered the overall promised legacies?



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The results were from 770 respondents to our online survey of our supporters.

Tags: DCMS, Featured, Funding, Olympic legacy, Physical Activity, Policy, School Sport, Sport, UK Sport, participation, sport england, sport policy