2012 Olympics and Paralympics Success

by Nigel Bakhai on 16 October, 2012

Please find below a copy of the text of my speech to the October 2012 council meeting to second a Lib Dem motion on London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics:-

Thank you Mr Mayor, I rise to second the Lib Dem motion. As a sports fan, I have to say how much I enjoyed this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics. I went along to the Torch relay in Hanwell and attended the gathering in Walpole Park. It was a fantastic atmosphere – the streets were packed and it was great to see the Olympic spirit come to Ealing cheering on our torch bearers like Sydney Richards and Tom Thacker.

The Olympics and Paralympics was a one in a lifetime opportunity to bring world class sport to London and we should pay tribute to all those who made it a success including Tony Blair and Ken Livingston for their part in winning the games bid back in 2005, Seb Coe and LOCOG for their organisation of the games, Danny Boyle for the spectacular opening ceremony, the athletes and coaches, the police, the Armed Forces, the spectators but also the thousands of volunteers for making the games so special. Even the current Mayor should be congratulated once he came down from his zip wire.

Demand for tickets for both Olympics and the Paralympics was unprecedented. I managed to buy tickets to see a number of sports including athletics, women’s volleyball and women’s football which I had never been to before. Many sports will have found a new audience and greater publicity than ever before and hopefully many more people will be encouraged to take part.   As a cyclist I really hope that we can build on the success of Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott to create a cycling revolution in Ealing and across London.

The aim of the games was to inspire a generation and we on this side welcome the council’s investment in our parks and sports facilities around the borough in the hope that we can build on the Olympics legacy.  For my part, I hope that albeit in a small way, with the support of my colleagues  in Elthorne ward, I am doing my bit to keep up the momentum by putting in new gym equipment in Elthorne Park and King George’s Field in Hanwell to encourage residents of all ages to lead a healthier and more active life style.

I also hope that the Olympics and Paralympics will change attitudes. The Paralympics provided a great opportunity to highlight disability issues across the capital including the need for better access on our antiquated public transport system. Certainly talking to my work colleagues in other parts of the globe, the Olympics give a positive view of modern Britain around the world. We all cheered on Team GB heroes like Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah, David Weir or Sarah Storey, and helped to portray to the world the picture of a united and multicultural Britain, a year on from the riots which blighted this borough and our country.

Finally, I would like to add my congratulations to Anne Panter and Hannah McLeod from Team Ealing for their bronze success in the women’s hockey.  I hope their success will inspire the young people of Ealing on to future Olympic success in Rio and beyond.

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