In Australia fans of sports other than AFL often bemoan the fact that they always get what they want, well things are the same in other countries where one sport is dominant.
In England the real code of football is the dominant one. Just over a week ago Elmbridge Council in Surrey were slammed for allowing English Premier League side Chelsea to build an indoor training pitch, while rejecting a new archery centre, both in green-belt locations.
Now a Council in Southampton is being criticised as it has ignored the Olympic Games legacy. A gymnastics club which has produced medal winning athletes over four decades as well as offered elite school programs and was also the training centre for Great Britain’s synchro diving team of Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield has been denied funding. Instead Southampton Football club received funding for their Saints Foundation.
Councillor Andrew Pope who spoke out against the funding spoke sense when he stated ” it should be the football business and the players who fund the Saints Foundation. We should not have funds taken away from true voluntary organisations. We are taking money away from diving when we have an Olympic silver medallist (Waterfield) living in the city.” Diving had applied for a mere UKL5000.
Pope is correct in any country where the clubs are privately owned and the players paid exorbitant wages the public sector should not be contributing any funding. They should be required by the games governing body to self fund these programs. Equally the clubs or the administrators should not pass the responsibility down the line.
It is a great shame that another of the sports that could have benefitted from the Olympic Games in London is finding that the legacy may well have simply been spin put out by the organisers and promoters.