‘Inspiring a Generation’ has been the unique slogan used to promote the London 2012 Games in the United Kingdom. But what will actually happen to this Olympic Legacy so fondly proclaimed by Lord Coe?

Lord Coe explained in the closing ceremony that:

 “This may be the end of these two glorious weeks in London, but what we have begun will not stop now. The spirit of these Olympics will inspire a generation. We have seen in these days what tenacity can do, what ambition can do, what imagination can do. We know more now as individuals and as a nation just what we are capable of and that knowledge will drive us on.”

inspiring a generationThe London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympics Games are responsible for the London 2012 Games. The lasting legacy created by London 2012 includes five key projects: culture, education, sports, sustainability and volunteering. I think three of out the five projects have been having a more recent effect on inspiring a generation, they are education, sports and volunteering projects– purely due the impact of being the hosting nation of the Olympic Games.

Increasing Participation In Sports Inspires A Generation

The idea to increase participation in grassroots sports, sport competition and physical activity is having a nationwide effect inspiring young people to get involved in sports. One of the sayings being strummed into our heads is ‘inspiring a generation’ and that is exactly what the Olympics and Paralympics are hoping to achieve. UK Sports will receive £125 million in funding for Olympic and Paralympics Sports for Rio 2016 Games. Funding was only previously only available until 2014 but after the success of Team GB in the Olympics, David Cameron made this announcement.

The ability of educational projects enables people of all ages to promote and understand the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, and the Paralympics values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality. Also the government is being urged to have green spaces for schools, academies and colleges to allow people of all ages to engage in sport and continue the legacy of the London 2012 Games.

Volunteering projects are encouraging volunteering in sport, culture, education and sustainability. Up to 70,000 Games Makers have participated in the London 2012 Games. Lord Coe and both Presidents of the Olympics and Paralympics have mentioned the impact of the Games Makers offering their time to help support the London 2012 Games in both the Olympic and Paralympics Opening Ceremonies.

The Volunteering Projects have helped UK based businesses gain Games related contracts. An example of this is Sussex business, CompeteFor. The business gives unique access to the many opportunities in the London 2012 supply chain and one of the company’s objectives are to build a business network and brokerage service that develops and grows throughout the delivery of the 2012 programme and into the legacy.

David Cameron discussed the Paralympics legacy:

It’s going to change people’s mind about disability and that really matters. The super humans poster makes people think because thy’ree Olympic athletes they did extraordinary things. But the Paralympics athletes overcome disadvantages and then go and do really amazing things. I think it will change a lot of people minds and inspire a lot of people to do all they can.”

Stop the Traffik is an organisation working in partnership with the United Nations to prevent men, women and children from being trafficked within their own countries and across international borders. Every country is affected by human trafficking, whether it’s an origin country where people are trafficked from; a transit country where people are trafficked through; or a destination country where people are trafficked to. Often a country will be all three.

Raising Human Trafficking Awareness In London

The Gift Box initiative set up in and around London has enabled people to understand the different areas of trafficking such as domestic servitude, forced street crime, sexual exploitation and forced labour.

Volunteering with Stop the Traffik was an amazing experience. I was situated in Islington, London with a Gift Box raising awareness of Forced Labour. There was a group of ten of us persuading and telling people to look inside the Gift Box, which raised awareness about Human Trafficking. It’s almost like selling the story of a victim to try and persuade the public to take a look at the box and sign up to prevent this from happening in the future. On the day of the Olympics opening ceremony, we managed to get approximately 100 signatures & over 400 leaflets were handed out to the public. We leafleted outside the nearest train station and the market, which we found was a particularly successful way to relay our message. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I am doing it again in early September and am very much looking forward to it!

Dipa Vaya is twenty years old and lives in London. She is currently in her second year studying Politics at the University of Kent. She has studied Print Based Media at College and has written articles for the university newspaper Inquire, Look Magazine and local newspapers. She is committed to raising human trafficking awareness on campus.