Lewisham 2012


On Sunday, Lewisham celebrated London becoming the official Olympic Games Host City.

The London Olympic Handover Flag was raised by Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, and Lewisham's prospective Paralympian Rebecca Harding, in Cornmill Gardens at exactly 2.30pm along with other London boroughs and regions around the UK.

Sir Steve said: “What a fantastic day and what a fantastic beginning to what promises to be a very exciting and challenging next 4 years.

“Britain has done brilliantly in this year’s Olympics in Beijing and I’m proud to say that Lewisham has made a valuable contribution to the winning team by way of Tasha Danvers who won a Bronze Medal in the 400 metre hurdles. Today we’re flying the flag not only for London but for Lewisham too!"

Lewisham is one of the five "Gateway Boroughs", which are those near the Olympic park, but not actually staging any events. This means that we're lumped together with Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Havering and Redbridge as boroughs trying to market themselves as handy stopovers for international athletes.

The vision document produced by these Boroughs in 2006 is called "Next Stop 2012" and is a slightly odd mixture of inward-investment marketing pitch, training camp prospectus and feelgood exercise for local residents.

The Lewisham website also lists five key projects that are part of the Borough's preparations:
Of these, there is seemingly no chance that Convoy's Wharf will be complete, while Lewisham Gateway looks like an increasingly remote prospect.

But the list ignores some of the developments that are guaranteed, including the re-opening of Wavelengths pool in Deptford (officially due this month), an increase in capacity on the DLR (lengthening trains to Lewisham from two to three carriages by 2010) and of course the East London Line, due 2010.

Sir Steve continued:

“I hope that everyone in the borough will enter into the full spirit of the Olympics and set themselves a goal to exercise more. Exercise has so many benefits and can really improve the quality of life. In Lewisham we’re working towards developing some excellent sport and leisure facilities for everyone to enjoy and I hope people will take full advantage of them.”

“In particular, my goal is to help Lewisham’s young people achieve their own goals and levels of sporting excellence. Of course, the majority will not go on to reach Olympic status but participating in sport can have great benefits in boosting personal confidence. This in itself helps them in so many other ways and improves their work and life chances.”

2012 is a long way away - so far, in fact, that one of our friends who works for LOCOG just handed in his notice because he realised he had relatively little to do and no chance of promotion for about four years. But nevertheless, the road to Lea Valley starts here! This begs the following questions:


1. What should Brockley do for 2012?

2. What will you be doing to mark the occasion?

86 comments:

Brockley Kate said...

I'll be vacating the area for the duration, after spending a fair amount of time in Greenwich Park trying to prevent its destruction in the name of nice horsies.

Anonymous said...

I'll be sat, bemused, wondering why an overhyped sports day gets so much coverage and infratructure put around it.

11:34 said...

Rent out my flat for the two weeks to the highest bidder, and escape to somewhere hot (to watch it on the telly..)

Headhunter said...

Yeah I heard that renting out flats for top dollar was the name of the game. not sure what I'll do - it's 4 years away.

So is there going to be some kind of development at Convoy's Wharf after all? The link mentions some kind of planning decision made in 2005 - so 3 years ago. I thought the whole thing had come to a complete standstill

Pete said...

Unlike all you miserable sods (who clearly got picked last for sports at school and are still bitter about it) I will be taking two weeks off work to either volunteer my time or just to watch the games. I can't wait.

Headhunter said...

Pete - is it possible to volunteer and get in free/up close and personal with the athletes then?

Pete said...

I'm not sure. I marshalled a running race a few months ago and they sent me a certficate saying it counted towards volunteering for the olympics. I hadn't really planned it and still don't have a clue how the system (if it exists) works.

tyrwhitt ali said...

I was told that the volunteering scheme was already full but my information could be duff. Before the Olympics, I did fall into the going on holiday for two weeks category, but now I'm taking two weeks off and going to as many events as I can afford! :-)

Pete said...

I just looked on the 2012 website and the volunteering scheme won't start until 2010 so there is plenty of time to think about it.

tj said...

They will also need cultural volunteers - not to work on the sporting events, but to guide and act as points of information.

I REALLY want to go to the opening ceremony - but will probably need to finance the cost of the tickets by renting out my place. Lewisham sent around some leaflets late last year encouraging people to open up spare rooms and run b&bs during the Olympic period. I thouht it was a tad premature; but I think 11.34 is right - there is a lot of money to be made in rent as we will be very near most venues

Anonymous said...

I vote catman as Cultural Volunteer

Richard Elliot said...

I'm with Pete, I've already signed up for information on the volunteering scheme.

I have grand visions of showing people to their seats in the stadium while soaking up the atmosphere and watching the events for free.

In reality I'll probably be stuck in a car park somewhere directing traffic, but I will still the get warm glow from doing my bit and being involved!

The Cat Man said...

Yeah, let me do it please!

nobbly brick said...

"while Lewisham Gateway looks like an increasingly remote prospect"

What evidence, apart from the obvious 'credit crunch' and the unsuitability of the developer to undertake such an operation - both of which are subjective opinions - do you have for this?

Perhaps the lack of a workable link is a clue?

Anonymous said...

I can't wait and will be booking as many events as possible.

Oh but with the obvious caveat that I hope the shortfall in funding gets sorted out and that no developers go bust in the interim.

While I'm typing, I was just thinking this blog is absolutely excellent as a neighbourhood "in touch" - has anyone seen anything faintly approaching it written about another area? I certainly haven't. Keep up the good work.

Brockley Nick said...

Nobbly, I mean remote as in distant. I don't doubt that the gateway will get built but is a large scale project and even if it started tomorrow they would do well to have finished it by summer 2012. There is no sign of work starting any time very soon and the last interview I did with the council suggested that the only work we could expect in the near future was some enabling work. That doesn"t indicate an urgent timetable and of course the credit crunch and the impact this is having on the financial viability if housing led schemes is objective fact, not subjective opinion. All this leads me to say it's an increasingly remote prospect. Do you think it will be ready by the olympics?

Anonymous said...

I was enthusiastic before these Olympics, and even more so now.

It's unfortunate that London will again be hosting the Austerity Games - us taking over from Beijing is a bit like Gordon Brown taking over from Tony Blair just as the economy goes down the pan. Hey ho.

I will nevertheless be taking two weeks off, braving the doubtless overcrowded public transport system (or maybe taking my life in my hands and going by bike) to see as much of it as I can.

creepylesbo said...

I'm trying to do more exercise but work is making it increasingly difficult. I started jogging to work but have since been told not to 'wear shorts to work' as I am damaging the reputation of the company (which is ridiculous as I change out of them into respectable clothing as soon as I get to work). They offer no gym club membership system, no showers or anything. You try and make it better and get shat on. What I want to know is HOW does making your employees look like they care about their health a bad thing for an employer?

The Cat Man said...

Do you work for a tabacco company?

Headhunter said...

If there's no shower, perhaps that's what they object to. You probably ain't at your freshest after jogging to work. Why don't you just join a gym and use their showers and changing facilities (and even have a quick work out) before heading to the office. That way they never even have to know that you jogged in.

Woot said...

This will never happen in London, in our lifetime again. It is incredible that we won it. Our bid was amazing we beat a very sophisticated effort from Paris.

It's time for people to stop being so cynical and get in there. No more of Brits being content to be losers. I love it that we came fourth in the medal table beating countries like Australia. I am happy to bask in the reflected glow of our athletes.

Our games will be stylish, quirky, efficient, as everyone should expect from a thriving, confident 21 century economy. We don't need to prove ourselves by spending obscene amounts. We're gonna be good anyway. Why? well cos we're London. It's London thing.

We will redefine the Olympics, as Britain has defined culture, through our language, our philosophers, scientists, explorers and our designers over the last millenium.

Countries are only as good as the people in it, so come on lets show some metal and put on the best, most enjoyable damn games the world has seen and show the world what we're all about.

The Cat Man said...

"Countries are only as good as the people in it"

...That's what I'm afraid of.

Headhunter said...

I'm hoping that the glow from the cycling successes will encourage more people to take to 2 wheels (not motorbikes/mopeds etc). And also hoping for a little more respect on the road, given GB success!

The Cat Man said...

The lorry drivers travelling down Illidan road in the morning always seem to aim for me.

Headhunter said...

You mean Ilderton Rd? The main problem I have with that road is the potholes. I think WW1 battlefields would have been easier to cycle along. I have to constantly swerve around huge potholes and spots where the road has been dug up and inadequately repaired.

ton up tory said...

I fancy being the rider of the motorbike in the Keiran....

Should get plenty of practice soon in the bus lanes !

Sorry HH can't resist sometimes

Tamsin said...

Has anyone done the sums on the medal table factoring in the population of the country involved? That would knock China and the USA off their top spots and might show up some interesting "real" winners - Jamaica or the Ukraine.

Tamsin said...

Yes they have - http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/its/intranet/projects/webdev/sandbox/matmannion/sandbox/olympics - and the USA and China are way down the list with Jamaica, Bahrain and Slovenia first, second and third.

tj said...

Another way would be to calculate cost per medal - ie how much money and subsidies goes into each medal. Again, I think we would have some different winners.

However, luckily it's not done in either way - it's just who jumped furthest, who swam fastest, who lifter heaviest - and that's why it's a great watch.

liz said...

Like some other Brocklyites, I will be renting out my house and volunteering and can't wait.

So what should Brockley do?

How about working with the local assemblies (Crofton Park, Ladywell and Brockley) to put a big screen up somewhere where we can all buy drinks and watch the festivities?

The Cat Man said...

and Telegraph Hill assembley thankyou very much :o)

tyrwhitt michael said...

Big screen on Hilly Fields - which is an natural amphitheatre would be good.

Might even have a cafe up there by then!

Pig flying will also be an Olympic event by then too....

tyrwhitt ali said...

I think a big screen on Hilly Fields would be great. I always love watching things like Wimbledon on the big screens they have at Canary Wharf.

Anonymous said...

I just hope that BoJo is gone and Ken Livingstone is back for 2012. It'll be good for London and good for the Olympics, someone that actually cares about how we are perceived.

Anonymous said...

I just wish Ken would let BoJo get on with it - instead of constantly trying to undermine him from the sidelines. His latest threat to get the unions to act will effect us all.

What Ken doesn't realise is that he is harming the London he claims to love. At least he should let the man who was elected do a job. Ken is looking increasingly bitter.

drakefell debaser said...

'Someone that actually cares about how we are perceived’

Does this relate to Boris not doing up his suit jacket button? I admire the fact he didn’t, after all he represents London and we are all individuals with the freedom to choose if a button should be fastened. I am sure if the Chinese had a way they would have superimposed a slimmer more dashing looking version of our mayor with jacket done up exuberantly waving the Union Jack but clearly even CGI has limits.

The Cat Man said...

im becoming quite a fan of bojo, he seems to be much more patriotic than old red ken

Anonymous said...

I like him too. I like how he kicks the greens and over-liberals into shape.

Anonymous said...

Talking of exercise, has anyone been to the Hilly Fields Open Air Gymn? (exercise classes outside as far as I can see) It sounded good to me as i really don't like the sweatiness of indoor gymns or, if you are kept cool, the unnatural air conditioning.

re Boris, I can see why, in a highly authoritarian regime, he would choose to do his own thing. And, assuming all the CHinese were allowed to see him looking (as usual) a bit of a state, it might have made some of the 1.4bn of them think a bit about the extraordinary freedom he/we has/have compared with them.


As a gateway borough, I think we SHOULD have some focal point event - HF makes sense but then I don't know any other part of the borough than HF!

are they still serious about using Greenwich? great for advertising the area but the traffic will be APPALLING.

Anonymous said...

on sport, what is this drivel Andy Burnham was bothering me about this morning on radio 4 - spending 36million to provide 10 sports classes to school children. They are to choose what they want to do, with taxpayers' money as usual. WHY?

if taxpayers' money is involved why should it go to what teenagers want? why not what the taxpayers want? revolutionary concept....

why should a bus driver on 25,000 a year pay tax to support this sort of rubbish?

It is only marginally better than some of the weird politically correct courses in adult "learning" lewisham college has on offer. I really though we had got past stupid courses in "red haired and short and fat awareness" as a country but apparently not....

Brockley Nick said...

I'm not aware of the interview you are talking about, but when you say:

"if taxpayers' money is involved why should it go to what teenagers want? why not what the taxpayers want?"

I think there is a broad social consensus that we want young people to do more sport, to

a) encourage young people to lead fitter, healthier lives, to reduce the obesity epidemic we currently have and reduce future health and welfare costs
b) give them a positive outlet for their energy rather than hanging around commiting petty crimes, etc
c) help develop and identify future elite-level sports stars

If we all broadly agree about all of that, then the next question to ask is - how do we best achieve that?

We could force everyone to play football in winter and cricket in the summer, with a few cross country runs chucked in and netball and hockey for the girls, like they used to do. But we know that this has resulted, generation after generation , in many children being put off sport and exercise for life.

Alternatively, we could give children a wider range of sports options, to help them find a sport that suits them, so that they enjoy it and keep doing it.

It sounds to me like that is where the policy you are referring to is coming from. It sounds very sensible.

Headhunter said...

Anon 22:38 Ken let BoJo get on with it??!! I wish Bojo would just get on with it and leave Ken alone. He seems intent on getting Ken in front of his own jumped up kangaroo court for the press on various spurious accusations.

Bojo, now you're in, let's see som action rather constant guff, bluster, headline grabbing policies like no alcohol on public transport. None of this publicity grabbing rubbishing Ken.

He has the Evening Standard in his pocket, the ES even tried to make out that Ken was some kind of evil criminal for travelling to the Olympics at China's expense. Good on him I say! How did BoJo get there? At London taxpayers expense. Why did he go there? Errrr, you got me. Isn't BoJo Mayor of London now? What the hell does he have to go to the Olympics in China for anyway? Shouldn't he ben here focusing on London issues rather than swanning off halfway round the world?

Seriously, we need to get rid of Bojo in the next election....

Brockley Nick said...

Also, teenagers all have parents who are taxpayers. Those taxpayers presumably want their children to be given good quality sports education that will encourage a love of sport. Even bus drivers have teenage children, you know.

The Cat Man said...

I think some parts of the UK have moved on, but not lewisham.

Did you know that even the lewisham town planners are implementing a 'female orientated' street planning scheme?

Apparently, women have a different way of organising ther lives.

Like it particularly matters. Just another example of inverse discrimination i'm afraid.

If you're white, middle-class and male you are screwed - Jeremey Paxman was right.

drakefell debaser said...

HH – If Ken were still mayor he would have been in China at the London taxpayer’s expense too and would certainly not have been in London focusing on issues. The fact China paid for him to go reassures me that his departure is a positive one. The mayor had to go because the city he represents is next on the calendar. Had the mayor not gone then it would have been perceived as an insult.

fabhat said...

Cat man - just had a look for this female orientated planning - couldn't find anything - can you post your reference link?

Anonymous said...

Nick, thanks but didn't you see immediately what the Cabinet was up to? ie politicking!

Their approach smacks of the general tendency to give in to any group that causes trouble frankly rather than simply punishing the troublemakers.

The vast majority of young people behave, don't hang around street corners in need of a sport to keep them busy and some of these kids come from VERY deprived areas. Hats off to them I say, spend money on THEM I say. it is very clear that it's harder to do well and behave form that sort of background than many others.

Our incessant pandering to the minority of wrongdoers incenses me. The £36mm would have been better spent on eg teenage learning schemes teaching people LITERACY or, if they get into trouble, on prison rehab schemes to support them OUT of a life of crime.

These things would give these kids a chance of a JOB and the pride inherent in being paid money BUT for something you have EARNED. Now that's an interesting idea, a JOB and taking reponsibility for their OWN lives as our admired bus driver has done.

I worry hugely for our young people and our country's future as I think WE are to blame for them developing as a nation of spoilt, health and safety obsessed, immature, dependent young beings who have never been allowed BY US to develop the skills necessary to get on in life. it is OUR fault not theirs.

This "choose your own sport" idea is another example of money that could have been more fairly and more usefully spent but which for political purposes (on the back of a wave of Olympic excitement) is being used in this way.

Or am i cynical about politicians?!

Anonymous said...

Catman,

i guess they are driving at avoiding funny little places whence people can jump out. that sort of thing. which makes some sense to me.

but a whole course on what is clearly common sense? god it's just a pathetic job creation scheme for some underemployed council numpty.

Headhunter said...

DD - I'm sure you're right that Ken would have gone to China if he'd been in power but at least he would have saved London taxpayers some money, unlike BoZo. Why does that fact that China paid make his departure positive?

Anonymous said...

I think Ken did his fair bit of swanning around - Cuba, Venezuela - as did his teams (I seem to remember a scandal); and also entertainng (receptions for radical homophobes). I think it would have been poor if BoJo hadn't gone to China. I'm glad though he stopped Ken's proposed bus convoy from the UK to Beijing. Not good for the environment or the public purse hey HH?

The Cat Man said...

It sounds like the old philosophical debate re. trees or digi-cams. I wonder how the digi-cams scheme got on?

Fabhat, that snipet of info came from the bbc website, yesterday I think.

Found it: there you go: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7585756.stm

Anonymous said...

the basic issue we keep coming back to is that IT IS OUR MONEY NOT THEIRS.

politicans need to be transparent and accountable.

The Cat Man said...

Ken has also just been appointed a representative of venezuela according to the bbc

fabhat said...

thanks for that Cat man. I just read through it and as far as I can tell, the gist of what Lewisham is doing is making new business developments closer to residential areas to make it easier to get to them...probably something that will be an advantage to men as well as women. The wider issue is about public transport and improving links, and avoiding creating blind corners etc. Nothing to get in a stress about being excluded by these improvements I think...

As for all the discussion about sport choice for teenagers. When I was at school, I hated netball, hockey, cross country and rounders - only tennis was okay - which we played for 1 term a year... so i didn't do any sport outside the compulsory lessons. Now I do sports that I really enjoy, but it's taken me 10 years to find things that I like doing - and if kids at school now have more choice, that's got to be a good thing!

Brockley Kiwi said...

Why doesn't Brockley adopt a small country for the Olympics? We could hang their flags from the streets, cheers them along at events we've never heard of and maybe have a little fete in their honour?

Any suggestions?

tj said...

Tuvalu?

drakefell debaser said...

HH - not sure where Kens money saving would have come from had he taken his team to Beijing as Boris flew economy, albeit with the hope of an upgrade which was not forth coming. Ken in economy? No chance. The London bus to Beijing idea that Ken hoped to do was nuts - complete waste of money, circa £500K according to the Times and unnecessary pollution as Anon 11:17 has pointed out which flies in the face of his so called 'green credentials'. The fact that China paid for his travel just highlights the RED in KEN as far as I am concerned. Anyway I think Ken is off to help Chavez with his town planning so let’s wish him all the best in filling his boots, as always.

Brockley Kiwi said...

With all due respect to all Tuvaluvians (?) I'm not sure their presence at the Olympics will create much to see. What about Surinam or Slovenia?

1..2...3.. said...

I think Jamaica is the perfect choice - just the right level of participation, good hope of gold, access to local food stalls and entertainment for a party on hilly fields, and liable to spoil Catman's week.

tyrwhitt ali said...

I think you'll find Bojo also took half the staff to Bejing than Ken had been planning on taking. Bojo made a point of going round and taking his own notes....

Re sport and reaching back into my dim and distant memories, when I was doing my GCSEs although sport was still compulsory, we were allowed to pick which and consequently enjoyed it more/came out with fewer "the dog ate my gym kit excuses".

I've been to OpenGym a couple of times and really enjoy it. I'm normally the unfit one at the back though :-)

Pete said...

I find it quite amusing that someone considers the "youth of today" to be "health and safety obsessed".

Is this some kind of bot commenting on the blog with only a few choice phrases from the Daily Mail lexicon to choose from?

Anonymous said...

Pete, I used the expressions to which you refer becuase it is an ongoing observation of mine - in various walks of life, younger people constantly mention health and safey issues in a way that we never did. (sorry if I'm assming your age there!)

Re newspapers, I find that the only one that offers news as opposed to "cat up tree" stories is the FT so no idea what the Dm says about anything. Are you a DM reader? I have a friend who used to work for them as apparently they are renowned for paying better than eg the Telegarph of Times. Not sure why, bigger circulation or more revenue from advertising perhaps?

The Cat Man said...

Does anyone know is Lewisham is planning on 'adopting' the red telephone boxes?

BT are in the process of removing alot of them, local councils have been given the choice to 'adopt' them but they have to make it known by October this year.

Anonymous said...

to those who would prefer to have chosen their own sport at school,

well yes of course, we all would have preferred that but there is a discipline in doing otherwise, just as there is a discipline in doing harder subjects at school. and avoiding the ones we might prefer in the short term.

Govt policy and use of OUR money should not be about opportunism (as this Burnham idea patently was) nor can it be about individual preferences. it needs to be about macro goals for the entire country and my contention is that teaching the third of 11 years old who cannot read or write (go figure what sort of life they are likely to have)to do so is a better way of spending £36mm than allowing them to choose what sport they fancy for 10 sessions.

Which is the better investment, should be the issue not what do they fancy doing right this second.

I personally would have said appearing in a play or practising more ballet but why should that be funded by the bus driver's tax payments. I keep coming back to that....

Brockley Nick said...

"Of course, we'd all like to catch a bus if that were an option, but government policy should not be about individual preference, in my day we all walked everywhere. Why should bus drivers' salaries be funded by my tax payments? I keep coming back to that...."

The Cat Man said...

I have an easy solution.

Get rid of cars, make everyone walk to work. It will take longer, but I bet people would feel alot healthier.

The government has to fund sports as it has failed to protect its population through adequate controls on business and food safety.

If the government put in a control to limit fast food outlets (lets say 1 in every 1000m2 for example) then i'm sure people will be better off and healthier.

It doesn't stop there. Also supermarkets and crappy shops like costcutters - have you seen the shit*e they stock in there?? 80% of the foodstuff is full of rubbish and not good for anyone who eats it.

did you know, they was even a McDonalds WITHIN the premises of Guys & St Thomas Hospital (near london bridge). Apparently its 'what the people want'. Well I say, they need a good and rather abrupt wake up call. Idiots indeed.

11:34 said...

Anon - you seem to be contradicting yourself. The 'discipline in doing harder subjects at school' doesn't seem to be working for the children who find reading difficult for one reason or another. Same with sport.

drakefell debaser said...

'If the government put in a control to limit fast food outlets (lets say 1 in every 1000m2 for example) then i'm sure people will be better off and healthier.'

I agree with you there Andy, i mentioned this in my opposing agrgument against the planning application for the fast food outlet opposite Martins Yard. Not sure if the council will listen to it though, i have visions of them deliberating over the matter with a large bucket of KFC.

Danja said...

1000m2 is 33m x 33m. Brockley will need more chicken shops.

The Cat Man said...

Its actually 33 x 30.30m recurring but point taken!

As long as they remain 'east side' of course :o)

Brockley Nick said...

Well I was just about to write a short piece about the Seager Distillery, based on what you'd been saying...

Bolted said...

Who, what, me?

I think the extra storey bit is wrong, btw, it was always 26 plus ground. They are galliardising the flats (we once bought one from them, long way back) by making them smaller, and whacking up the height of some of the crescent around the side.

Anonymous said...

11:34

I think it's reasonable in a developed country such as the UK, spending the amounts we do on education per head (7 grand at the last analysis done by the Treasury) to expect to stretch the best children and ensure the slower ones actually learn to READ AND WRITE.

Unfortunately, it seems the best are being completely dumbed down to the extent that many schools simply refuse to do A levels these days. Despite the extraordinary lowering of exam standards, 1/3 of children still leave their junior school at eg age 11 unable to read or write.

if it weren't so dangerous for the UK's future - the long term nature of poor education results in it being de prioritised by politicians - then it would be laughable. but we're consigning arguably 1/3 of the next generation to a fairly terrible illiterate life. I find that desperately sad.

The Cat Man said...

The UK is in decline anyway. Generation after generation are poorer over there life compared to their parents. Just look at Britains GDP per capita, we are not exactly a rich nation anymore - too many people on a low income.

11:34 said...

I don't think that there's anybody here who has an issue with children not being able to read and write, but if we're already spending (stand by for the fag-packet calculations) 7,000 for - let's say - 8 million children in state education, that's 56 billion quid (admittedly not all on literacy). I wonder how far another 36 million would go. Seems like a paltry amount in comparison.

Heaven forbid that we get children interested and confident in looking after their bodies too!

Mens sana in corpore sano as some old Italian bloke once had it.

fabhat said...

anon - what about getting children interested in something they then continue to do for the rest of their life, as opposed to something that puts them off sport and ends up costing the health service more money in the long term than it would cost them to do this scheme? Just a thought...

CJS said...

i'll be far away long before...

but i will be hoping and praying that london doesn't become another wasteland of grand ideas-come-overpriced and under(or never) used sporting facilities like other olympic cities i've known: calgary, nagano and, most likely, vancouver.

Anonymous said...

As a Brockleyite who's been working in Beijing on the Olympics and Paralympics for the last two years, here's my tuppenworth.

The Games here has been impressive, but a missed opportunity in many ways, especially to encourage participation in sports outside of elite performance programmes (China has a growing child obesity problem). One of the best things is the way Beijingers have used the Olympics to reinforce a sense of community, both as a city and as smaller areas (as far down as sub-district, roughly equivalent to a ward in the UK). This is not state-sponsored - the impetus has come from communities and individuals.

There's plenty of scope for Brockley and London to do the same. It just needs some good ideas and commitment to make them work.

Tamsin said...

I love the idea of adopting a country for the Olympics - and lets do it semi-officially through the different Ward Councillors in advance so the country and athletes in question know of it. I don't think Jamaica, though. Most ex-colonies with a high level of second, third and even fourth generation naturalised immigrants will already have a high level of local support (Jamiaca especially judging by the number of black green an yellow flags I see around). We should look for our Olympians in the former soviet states, the Balkans or Polynesia.

nobbly brick said...

"adopting a country for the Olympics"?

Hey, yes, lets patronise somebody!!

Brockley Nick said...

Nobbly I agree that there's a risk of patronising somewhere, but it's pretty standard practice for host towns to adopt their teams - england got that treatment in japan and germany in the last two world cups. I think it's a nice idea, so long as it's a team training in the area (there are a number of training venues here) rather than an arbitrary small nation. by definition the countries training here are likely to be tiddlers, as I don't think any of the local facilities are a grade!

Tamsin said...

Even if it is an arbitrary small nation I don't see that it is particularly patronizing - or if it is patronizing that this should be resented. If you were part of a small team of athletes come half across the World where most of your ordinary countrymen can't come to support you wouldn't it be nice to see a contingent in the host nation waving your flag and cheering you on? Especially if they take the trouble to make arrangements to meet you and learn something of your language to do so.
The whole jumellage thing is not about patronage but about ordinary people meeting ordinary people and I see this as something on a par with that.

Danja said...

You do talk a load of rubbish to try to further your agenda, Andy.

GDP per capita, at constant prices (i.e. ignoring inflation) for the period 1980-2006 (source http://www.econstats.com/weo/V006.htm)

11201.19
11032.88
11256.90
11648.18
11926.94
12317.11
12777.20
13334.48
13973.52
14239.35
14309.05
14063.86
14058.17
14344.63
14925.56
15321.69
15710.75
16156.57
16652.38
17097.85
17687.01
18036.93
18342.40
18776.99
19298.14
19527.65
19991.11
20512.21

i.e. continuous improvement year on year, apart from in the recessions in early 80s and early 90s.

Brockley Kiwi said...

I think the only risk of patronising anyone is if that was the initiatives intention. At best we could really make a difference to a bunch of athletes a longway from home and at worst we could have a bit of themed community fun.

Despite the organisational efforts, I can't see the downside.

The Cat Man said...

danja, it was the BBC who mentioned our generations getting poorer, there is research somewhere on the BBC. The numbers you quoted are meaningless, you need to compare it with other countries. We are only an 'average' wealth country in the eu for example.

And next time try to think with an open mind and not to acuse people of pursuing a political agenda. That's just called being niave.

Anonymous said...

This business of about the park being destroyed by the Olympics needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt. I have spoken to people who look after the Royal park for years and whilst they are not looking forward to the amount of work that an event like the Olympics and Paralympics will bring for them personally, they have no concerns about the trees and the land. I am of the understanding that a lot of the campaigning is being driven by local politicians attempting to make political capital out of this drama and nimby residents who have fallen for the 'park will is doomed' hype.

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