Last week Mo Farah and his wife Tania announced how cuts to school sports funding could damage the Olympic legacy of London 2012; sparking a flood of articles on how the legacy is already fading.
Naturally the inevitable finger of blame is being poked at the London Legacy Development Corporation, UK Sport and local authorities to name but a few, but isn’t it important, at least in part, to lay some of the responsibility for protecting its’ legacy at the media’s door?
Stepping back a few months, rowing, cycling or judo appeared on the news feed ahead of our beloved football and almost overnight, the diversity of the newspapers’ back pages was something to revel in. I held high hopes that our sports writers would themselves be inspired enough to continue this trend post-Games.
My intention is not to bash football or our other back-page favourites of cricket and rugby; I’m merely asking for a bit more variety in our sports news, because wasn’t it more fun to read about canoe slalom, archery and volleyball in a journey on the tube than the rehashed football?
This is why I doubt I’m alone when I say: I want to read about swimming, wheelchair fencing, trampolining and other weird and wonderful activities. I want to hear about disability sports. I want to see that women actually play sport.
The reason I want all of this because I want to continue to be inspired and it doesn’t matter if I never take up gymnastics. Being exposed to other sports is healthy and gives us all the sense that there is so much in this world to experience.
It’s likely that one of the top ways we’re exposed to sport aside from playing it ourselves is through the media. That gives such a weight of responsibility to sports writers and presenters, and so I hope more of them will shine a light on sporting variety in the future; helping achieve London 2012’s vision of inspiring a generation.