I was disappointed to read your article on the apparent failure to develop a meaningful health legacy since London 2012 (London 2012, 10 years on: tackling a sporting legacy built on false assumptions, 22 July). I recently participated in the writing of a small book with Richard Caborn, the Minister for Sport from 2001 to 2007, whose inspirational leadership was crucial in carrying forward the outstanding concept, delivery and now legacy of these Games .
Critics should look outside of London and consider other parts of the country, such as Sheffield, to see how we tried to fully grasp the opportunities generated by the 2012 Games and opened our own Olympic Legacy Park in the one of the most disadvantaged parts of the city. . We have brought together all of Sheffield’s key partners to work together to become the most active and healthy city in England. It is important to stress that it is not just the NHS that plays a key role in keeping our population healthy, but many of these other agencies.
This highly innovative project builds on the city’s designation as one of three centers delivering the National Center for Sport and Exercise Medicine, one of the legacy projects from the 2012 Olympics. This has the potential to have profound benefits for health, employment and education, within the framework of a 20-year vision and strategy.
Examples include a city-wide initiative called ‘Move More’ and the relocation of NHS outpatient clinics for patients with long-term chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, out of hospital and in newly designed recreation centers, where many thousands of patients can now be prescribed medication and engage in physical activity to improve their quality of life.
Former directorNational Center for Sports and Exercise Medicine