London Olympics 2012

Clive Efford (Eltham) (Lab): May I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his luck in being in the right place at the right time to make probably the easiest statement that any Minister has ever had to make? Some people may still harbour doubts about the bid. Some doubted whether we would win, but those who doubted that we should bid have been proven wrong. I was with 500 children from schools in Greenwich to hear the result announced and anyone who harboured doubts needed only to look at the expressions on their faces when the result came through to know what winning meant to them.

May I put down a marker? Up and down the country a community of people are involved in voluntary and not-for-profit organisations delivering sport to young people. They could become an army of ambassadors on behalf of the 2012 Olympics by encouraging participation in sport for all ages. When we put together our strategy for 2012, let us not forget those people.

Mr. Straw: My hon. Friend is right. As I said in my statement, one of many reasons why our bid won was the way in which it sought to reach out to young people beyond those who aspire to take part formally in the games, to encourage participation in sporting activity and exercise by many more young people and, for those not taking part in physical activity, to encourage volunteering and a sense of giving to other people in society. These games should make a big difference to that.

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