Liz Kendall MP: I'll help build on Olympic values
The Olympics last summer were a huge boost for Britain. They were good for the economy, good for our national pride and good for the thousands of young people they inspired to become active.
I joined hundreds of my constituents as we gave a warm welcome to the torch relay on July 2.
There was a carnival atmosphere and the event provided a little relief from the constant flow of gloomy news of harsh Government cuts and a flat-lining economy.
So why am I writing about the Olympics seven months after they took place?
Because I'm determined to ensure the Olympic legacy has a positive impact on our city for many years to come.
That's why I backed the 94 schools in Leicester that signed up to Get Set, which encourages children to lead healthy and active lives by getting involved in sport.
It's why I recently joined Tiger's legend Rory Underwood to put my full support behind New College's bid to develop a sports and learning village.
Thanks to the hard work of teachers, volunteers, students and the city council, New College has been transformed over the past six years.
It has gone from struggling to being in the top 10 per cent of improving schools in the country.
Sport has played a crucial role in these improvements. We all know sport can help promote healthier life styles.
It can also help unleash children's wider talents, showing them if they work hard they can be successful.
It acts as a hook, inspiring students to achieve better results in other subjects.
New College has already seen the fantastic benefits a modest investment in sport can bring.
A few years ago, it teamed up with Hinckley Gymnastics Club to create Leicester's only dedicated gymnastics venue.
These facilities have been used extensively by students, the community and athletes from across the country.
Now the school is looking to launch the next phase of its development with a bid to Sport England for £1.9 million for the sports and learning village.
The money would enable New College to develop facilities including two hockey pitches, one of international standard, and three rugby pitches.
The benefits of the sports village would extend far beyond the students at New College as it would be open to everyone.
Sports clubs across the city would be encouraged to base their activities at New College. These include Leicester Ladies Hockey Club and Leicester Storm, the city's only community rugby league club.
For me, London 2012 was about celebrating the Olympic values of friendship, courage, determination, excellence, equality, respect and inspiration – the values that make Leicester such a great place to live.
I'm determined to do what I can to put these values into action over the longer term, including by backing New Collage's bid.