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Helping to make the legacy of the Games work

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Roger Mosey | 16:01 UK time, Tuesday, 31 January 2012

I completely understand people who are sceptical about the legacy of London 2012. From the start, "legacy" was a neat bit of positioning by the bid team - the difference, arguably, between London's success and the failure of the candidacy from Paris.

But everyone knows that the success of the Olympic Games is judged most of all on sport and the image the host city projects to the world.

Whether the Village is lived in 10 years later or how much economic benefit was won by Atlanta or Athens will barely create a ripple on the global news agenda. Compare that with the indelible images of Michael Johnson, Kelly Holmes or Usain Bolt.

Within the BBC 2012 project, we've therefore spent most of our time focused on sport, news and culture along with how we deliver the biggest set of events in peacetime across TV, radio and online.

But it's been striking how legacy has increased in importance - partly because the proximity of the Games also means we're getting closer to the end of London's story, and you can see that unless we create initiatives that endure then there will be crucial chapters missing.

And the bid was right all along that legacy matters, and for public institutions like the BBC it would be daft and irresponsible for us to undervalue it.

Today we've been taking some of our partners and the media through what the BBC has been doing around work and skills for our young people.

You can read the full press release here. But rather than try to convince the sceptics again with words, I hope you'll grab a few minutes to watch the films we've created about what our three principal schemes are doing.

First, there are our apprentices. It's something we are championing for media production - offering a mix of work and education. In this film one of our current intake looks into what an apprenticeship is.

Then there's our work experience scheme which brings in people from the Olympic boroughs on short placements across the BBC to get a flavour of the industry and see if the media is a career for them.

And finally our community reporters - a group of volunteers trained one day a week over seven weeks to bring their stories to our newsrooms.

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I've had the privilege of meeting many of the people you'll have seen in the videos - and believe me, 10 minutes with them is better than time in the pub with the 2012 gloom-merchants.

There are lives which have seen real change because of the Olympics and the way we can use media to inspire a new generation.

And we want this to be of benefit not just to the individuals but to audiences too - getting young people into creative jobs rather than a life on the dole, and using their experiences in our programmes in a way that makes them better and more interesting for everyone.


  • Comment number 1.

    ... As a trainer of London 2012 Olympic Ambassadors, I can say with conviction these are passionate, enthusiastic people, fully embracing the once in a lifetime opportunity to not only host, but be the 'face of London' and creating the best possible first impression that visitors leave will a memorable experience of the city, the sport and a natural legacy.


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