UK SPORT, the agency charged by the Government with co-ordinating the staging of world-class events in the UK, today gave its backing to London’s proposed bid for the 2012 Olympics.
Following this morning’s meeting of UK Sport’s Council – which considered the findings of the independent cost-benefit analysis report into London staging the Games – Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of UK Sport, called on the Government to give serious consideration to supporting a bid.
"UK Sport’s Council is unanimous in its support of a London bid for the 2012 Olympics," Sir Rodney explained.
"We believe that securing the Games would be one of the most significant factors in helping UK Sport achieve its overall goal of making the UK one of the world’s top five sporting nations by 2012.
"The independent report clearly demonstrates that a coherent solution can be delivered that optimises existing facilities and provides new build in easily accessed locations.
"The Games would also be the catalyst to transform the UK’s high-performance sports system, with additional investment essential to deliver a Great Britain and Northern Ireland team of optimum medal potential.
"With all this evidence regarding the benefits of staging the Olympics - added to the groundswell of public opinion behind the proposal - UK Sport urges the Government to give serious consideration to the report’s conclusions and find in favour of a London bid."
Sir Rodney Walker added that any bid would be doomed to failure if it didn’t attract total support across the political spectrum.
"If we proceed with a bid, it is crucial that it is given top political priority and attracts total cross-party support," Sir Rodney explained.
"Staging the Olympic Games is a massive operation that would require an unprecedented level of co-operation between a disparate collection of stakeholders and interested groups. This won’t be possible without the full and comprehensive support of all political parties.
"Clear Government leadership will also be required if we are to mount a winnable bid.
"The UK’s international sporting reputation is slowly recovering following a couple of notable embarrassments over the last few years – a co-ordinated British bid for the Olympic Games would be a powerful signal of our intent and desire to be one of the world’s leading sporting nations."