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?