Seb Coe to thank Labour for its role in bringing the Olympics to London

2 October 2012

Tessa JowellThis morning (Tuesday) Labour will be hosting a celebratory session to mark the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Compered by Jonathan Edwards, former triple jump Olympic champion and broadcaster, it will bring together a range of people from the world of sport to discuss "what it takes to make an Olympic champion."

During the session, London 2012 chairman Seb Coe will thank the Labour Party for the role that it played in making the Olympic and Paralympic Games the success that they were.

Seb Coe, London 2012 Chairman, will say:


"I am delighted to be at the Labour Party Conference to put on record my personal thanks to Tessa Jowell, Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone, Richard Caborn and countless others that have made the Olympic and Paralympic Games the success they were. Their foresight and energy in supporting and driving forward the bid and the infrastructure budget was unparalleled.

"I also want to thank them for ensuring that cross-party support has flourished throughout years of preparations and the Games themselves. This has been vital in securing the benefits the Games has delivered so far - a regenerated East London, a Torch Relay and Cultural Festival that engaged every corner of the nation, a Games Maker volunteer force that has been heralded the world over and – above all - spectacular sport and athletes that have inspired young and old alike."
 
He will go on to call for cross-party working to ensure a successful legacy:

"Successful legacy will be dependent on more of the same cross party focus and support. It requires the political energy, will and commitment from those at every level of our political structures - from Councillors to Ministers, from activists to MPs."

Tessa Jowell MP, Labour's Shadow Olympics Minister, will address the Conference and lead the session. It will include a number of Olympic and Paralympic medallists, a performance director from a high performing Olympic sport and a PE teacher who spotted and developed the talent of one of Britain’s best known athletes.

Tessa Jowell MP will call on the Government to join a cross-party approach that allowed London to host a successful Games to continue for its sporting legacy:


"When we won the right to host the Games we made a promise. That the 2012 Games would inspire a generation. Until the election this was happening in schools across our country. The dismantling by this Education Secretary of a world class organisation for PE and sport in schools is beyond belief.

"So in order that we keep our promise, I have invited the Government to work beyond party to develop the facilities, coaching and curriculum space so that we keep our Olympic promise to young people across our country.  Building the next generation of Olympic champions starts with that - a plan for sport at every level. Showing the young people of our country that when we said we would inspire a generation, that we meant it."

Tessa Jowell MP will also say that the summer has re-awakened a form of progressive nationalism in the UK:
 
"The Olympic and Paralympic summer showed our Britain as the optimistic and self confident Britain that we can be - not broken Britain at all, Mr Cameron.
 
"A country of progressive values, with an inclusive and joyous patriotism which celebrated our open, diverse and tolerant society. It was a terrible summer for  prejudice, intolerance and narrow interests of every kind.
 
"Our modern Britishness embodied- there was Mo Farah, a man from Somalia, wrapped in the Union flag, as proud to be one of us as we are proud of him, and Nicola Adams who not only showed that there are no no-go areas in sport, but that there is not men's and women's sport, but just sport."