Olympic and Paralympic Legacy House of Lords 8th Nov 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012
I can testify personally to the skill and dedication of this extraordinary band of people, who worked tirelessly to anticipate and deal with every conceivable security problem in order to keep us safe.
Could this be said of making e–learning accessible?
Anticipating every conceivable accessibility problem?
My first area of concern is the sporting legacy for disabled people. LOCOG deserves particular praise for delivering the first fully integrated Games, with the Paralympics as much a part of the games as the Olympics.
Surely to be fully intergrated 'both' games would have to run together rather than separately - intergration and equity means like for like, as part of the same commmunity, as fellow people whoever you are.
Can we have the first fully integrated university, with students with disabilities as much a part of the undergraduate world?
To provide a legacy for children with disabilities who are being educated in mainstream schools, as most are, we need teachers to be appropriately trained, to know what assistive technology and software is available and where to get it. These teachers do not currently receive this training automatically but are instead expected to undertake training voluntarily in their own time.
The Government must change this system.
They should also make funds available to schools to bring in outside coaches to help.
My time at Goldmansachs taught me about leadership in the most demanding environments. I discovered the value of working with talented people and the benefits of teamwork; that there is nothing worse than an unhappy client; the importance of communicating clear goals; and the need to execute against these goals day in and day out to the highest standards.
It is that experience which has guided my work at London 2012, where I have also enjoyed the unstinting support and wise guidance of my noble friend Lord Coe, with whom I shared a trust and friendship which enabled us to meet the project's many and diverse challenges.
The Games on their own were never going to change the world and it is not fair to expect that.
I believed that they could provide a moment that would open the public's eyes to possibilities for disabled people and a moment where, at a basic level, the public would stop talking about the "real", the "normal" or the "proper" Games when they meant the Olympics and "the other Olympics" when they really meant the Paralympics.
Language is the dress of thought, and inclusion is more than putting a few Paralympic images on a poster or in a line-up
Equality is not a tick-box exercise. There has to be substance beneath it. LOCOG proved that time and time again.
It celebrated the similarities between the Games and, where appropriate, the differences.
Never once in all my time involved in these Games did I feel like a second-class citizen in sport. I cannot say that that has always been the case. The legacy is more than sport and physical activity.
On a personal level, very recently, I had difficulty getting off a train. I had to sit on the floor by the toilet, push my chair off the steps before I shuffled to the door to transfer off.
Do we really need to wait until 2020 to have accessible transport?
If we can deliver an amazing Games, we can do other big projects too. Recently, I was invited to a dinner where I had to use the back entrance to get in. When I wanted to use the bathroom, it took several minutes to find a ramp and, while I was in the bathroom, it was taken away and I could not get back down the steps-not quite inclusion.
Education's rightful place should be at the epicentre of the Olympic sports legacy. We need a revolution, on the back of a successful Games, in the delivery of school sport. Every primary school needs dedicated physical education delivered to national curriculum standard; provided by well-trained, focused individuals; and supported by a vibrant, accessible and sustainable interschool sports programme which is, in turn, supported and linked into the national governing body competition calendars.
If there was ever fertile ground for David Cameron's vision of the big society, it is through sport and recreation.
Control, power, jobs and funding needs to be shifted from bureaucratic, micromanaged structures under the influence of Whitehall to families, clubs, volunteers, community groups and schools, who should be empowered with the task of translating the inspiration of the Games into participation.
While I have focused on the BOA today and the vital need to deliver on the Olympic sports legacy, there is no doubt that equal attention should be given to the British Paralympic Association and to sport for those with disabilities.
For this summer gave us a moment to understand the abilities of the world's Olympians, not their disabilities.
Disability access was one of the largest areas under discussion. The noble Lord, Lord Davies, is not present but I remember saying to him, "Listen, it is not about disability; it is about the Olympics. We have the disability stuff in place".
Those discussions probably helped to make the Paralympic Games such a success. We undertook the relevant work at an early stage.
Lord Hall of Birkinhead
Being involved in the arts and culture can give you a sense of confidence and self-worth and that is why it is so important that the arts remain strong within the national curriculum, and why they should be included in the new English baccalaureate. That would be a good legacy of the Games. When the Globe Theatre ambitiously put on all 37 Shakespeare plays in 37 different languages, people came from all around the world and 80% of those who came had never been to the Globe before.
It was an extraordinary outcome.
We need to look at ways of continuing that. One idea is a biennale, which is one of the things that the board I chair is looking at for the Government. It would be good to know that the Government are building on what was achieved this summer in terms of new audiences.