13 Apr 2021
Almost nine years on, London 2012 is continuing to touch lives and benefit communities living around the Olympic Park. It’s a legacy that goes far beyond the physical changes set in motion by the Games, delivering on a vision embedded in community impact from the start.
In the video “London 2012 – Legacy Stories”, which was shot before the coronavirus pandemic, we take a look at long-term Games benefits in areas spanning health, social inclusion, education, jobs, housing and community engagement.
The video features the voices of local people in the boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and Waltham Forest, which housed the majority of London 2012 venues, including the Olympic Park.
We hear from young families living in apartments that once formed part of the Athletes’ Village; from London 2012 Games Makers who continue to volunteer in their communities; and from young people benefitting from apprenticeship opportunities brought about through the Games.
Their stories bring to life some impressive statistics. For example:
- 110,000 more jobs have been created across the host boroughs since 2012;
- Of the 70,000 London 2012 Games Makers, over 35,000 continue to volunteer in their communities; and
- 1 million+ people continue to visit the Olympic Park every year.
All of this is just the start, with further homes and employment opportunities set to be created as part of the planned evolution of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park over the next 10 years.
In the video, Lyn Garner, CEO of the London Legacy Development Corporation, explains: “The vision of London 2012 was to transform the area for growth purposes, for inward investment and, critically, to benefit local people over the long term. It’s going to create amazing opportunities for a whole new generation.”
Sport has its place at the heart of this legacy. Fatima Silman is one of those who moved to the Olympic Park after the Games, motivated by access to sports facilities for her children.
She has since helped to set up the local E20 Football Foundation and says: “We know the importance of sport and the benefits that it has. For me, what’s really fundamental is that all our coaches are local residents who live in the Olympic Park, who were 13 when they began and are now 17 – fully qualified coaches who are role models, and everybody has an input in the growth of what they want in their community. The legacy [of London 2012] is being left as we speak.”
The Olympic Park also continues to be a home to elite sports, hosting competitions in sports including swimming, field hockey, athletics, football, triathlon and rugby. In fact, on 14 April, London Aquatics Centre will see the return of the British Swimming Championships. The 2021 event will be extra special, as athletes will be vying for places in Team GB for the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo.