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london-2012Today see’s the start of something new. A new bi-weekly debate among bloggers where a number of us will post our view on a specific topic. You can find out more about this project at http://runwithanideadebates.blogspot.co.uk/. So, on with the first topic – The Olympics One Year On: Did We ‘Inspire A Generation’?

I think I should start by saying that when many people I know were desperately trying to get tickets for London 2012, I really wasn’t that bothered. I know people who spent some serious money trying to get the tickets they wanted and it was only when I was watching the event on TV that I started to understand why. The games were definitely entertaining and the UK should be proud of putting on such a great show. It was also great the way the Olympic Torch relay got local communities together with many organising events to coincide with the torch passing through

In his speech at the London 2012 opening ceremony Lord Coe said:

“The Olympics brings together the people of the world in harmony and in friendship and peace to celebrate what is best about mankind. There is a truth to sport, a purity, a drama, an intensity a spirit that makes it irresistible to take part in and irresistible to watch. London 2012 seeks to capture all of this…”

He finished this sentence with the words “London 2012 will inspire a generation”, so was he right?

I also know a few people who got a bit more active last year, me included, but to be honest I’m not sure that this was prompted by the Olympics.

In article published in the British Medical Journal (Can the London 2012 Olympics ‘inspire a generation’ to do more physical or sporting activities? An overview of systematic reviews) the authors found “little evidence that international elite sporting events such as the Olympics leads to increased participation in physical or sporting activities at the population health level” and found “no evidence, in particular, relating to the Paralympic games”. In fact, one of the citations reviewed found “evidence for a negative effect with the potential of elite sports deterring individual participation because of a perceived competence gap”. Could it actually be that elite sport puts us “normal” people off trying in much the same way airbrushed images in glossy magazines make so many people body concious?

I guess we need to see how Team GB does in future Olympic games, such as Rio 2016 to see if London 2012 inspired a generation of future athletes.

An alternative legacy

Whilst I understand the need for corporate sponsorship in order to fund events like London 2012, I am still horrified that the games hosted the worlds largest ever McDonalds which was estimated to serve 50,000 Big Macs and 180,000 portions of fries in just six weeks! With rising obesity levels in our population I am just glad the “restaurant” was temporary and doesn’t get the opportunity to become London 2012’s biggest legacy.

Cystic Fibrosis A Race We Must Win2013 Miles in 2013!

This year I am trying to complete 2013 miles self-powered miles. It is has been 10 years since my cousin’s son Adam lost his fight with Cystic Fibrosis. Adam was just 18 years old when when he lost his lifelong battle with CF, the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited disease. Despite spending large parts of his short life in hospital Adam never once complained, not even of a headache and was determined to make the most of everyday.

My 2013 miles in 2013 challenge is in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.

The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles, in February I completed a further 200.9 miles, in March I completed 185.7 miles, in April I completed 192.1 miles, in May I completed 168 miles and in June I completed 145 miles. If you can please spare £10.98 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.

The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/2012-AYearWithoutBeer-CF.

2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules

The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:

  1. All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
  2. I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment

To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.