Capitalising on the range of opportunities to build a strong and sustainable global legacy from London 2012 was the focus of UK Sport’s third International Influence Network Event in London on Feb 23.
Delegates gathered to share best practice and to consider ways of ensuring the UK continues to play its part in hosting world class events and contributing a meaningful voice to International Federations after the Olympic Games.
Minister for Sport and Olympics Hugh Robertson, LOCOG Director of Sport, Debbie Jevans, IOC Committee member Sir Craig Reedie and UK Sport Chief Executive Liz Nicholl were among the speakers to address senior figures from across British Sport.
Liz Nicholl said: “If we are to satisfy our performance and major event hosting aspirations after 2012 we need to use the Games as a platform to ensure the UK continues to have a strong and leading voice within the politics of international sport.
“As our plans for the Sochi and Rio cycles are already well underway, now is the right time to consider what the post-2012 sporting political landscape will look for all of us, to forward plan and to identify the different opportunities and challenges that we can expect to face.”
UK Sport funds and organises an International Leadership programme which now has more than 50 alumni who have been given guidance and training on how to work effectively with the international sporting community.
Simon Morton, UK Sport Director of Major Events and International Relations said: “The significance of a home Games as an influencing opportunity cannot be under-estimated and we have to find ways to capitalise on this platform these Games will present to British sport.
“At UK Sport, we must also now begin to consider what the international political landscape will look like in the post 2012 environment – the role the UK will play in this new environment, and the identification of the next generation of British post holders.”
During the event, panellists answered a range of questions about how to build on the momentum of hosting London 2012 with particular emphasis given to building strong global relationships.
Sir Craig Reedie told delegates: “The Olympic Games are the greatest event. They will not be here again so we should not miss this chance.
“Success in London will allow us to make use of the inevitable goodwill to bid for other events. We can help British Officials within their International Federations as we should know a lot more about its politics and personalities.”
UK Sport is committed to increasing investment in hosting major sporting events from £3.5m to £5m and has already been involved in winning bids for five World Championships post London 2012, including the World Triathlon 2013, World Canoe Slalom 2015 and the World Athletics Championships 2017.