They said it would inspire a generation

To run and to jump and to swim.

They promised it would motivate our youngsters

And the fight against obesity would begin.

 

But the statistics tell a very different story

Of a nation getting fatter by the day.

Gove abolished the school-sports partnerships

And now the children have nowhere to play.

It was an act of ideological vandalism

Blatantly ignoring what the experts had to say.

In a failed attempt to save a few million,

Slashing services is the old Tory way.

 

They imagined that a bucket full of Olympic medals

That cost over ten billion to win,

Would somehow revitalise the nation

But that was just a bucket load of old Tory spin.

 

The real situation is far more complex than they imagined.

More difficult than a 10,000 metre race.

It’s more like competing in the heptathlon

Multiple factors that all interlace.

 

We should start with our immoral food industry

That fill us daily with fat, sugar and salt.

Until our governments regulate these corporates

Our expanding waste-lines will never come to a halt.

 

Education alone is not the answer

The food industry is cunning as hell.

They pretend that what they sell us is healthy

Manipulating children with a relentless hard-sell.

 

But the stuff that they trick us into buying

Is as toxic and as lethal as drugs.

Sugar is now the new tobacco

But the corporates continue to treat us like mugs.

 

In addition to food regulation

We have a crisis in funding our youth.

The argument against government austerity

Is  re-emerging as an old Keynesian truth.

 

If we don’t invest in nurturing our children

To be healthy at home and at school,

Then the outcome will be greater obesity

Youth investment must become the new rule.

 

Grassroots sports are hopelessly underfunded

One-off initiatives are never the way.

It takes long term planning and resources

And local people should have the last say.

 

Sports clubs need serious long term funding

No more jumping and diving through hoops.

The school-sports partnerships need rebuilding

No more listening to Tory men in grey suites.

 

Safe cycle tracks may be part of the answer

And football pitches that are usable all year.

And the price at the leisure centre facilities

Must be cheaper, of that I am clear.

 

Sure, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis

Are sporting role models to whom we can easily relate.

But the majority of Britain’s private school Olympians

Are a million miles from the local estates.

 

What is needed is a complete reorientation

Towards a system that nurtures our health

An Olympian effort to revitalise our communities

 And stop the food corporates killing us by stealth.

 

So as the months and the years pass before us

And the Olympic memories rapidly fade,

What is certain is that with more government inaction

For our children a heavy price will be paid.

 

And the only sport that our youngsters will excel in

Will be street fighting, gang against gang.

And all the platitudes about Olympic legacies

Will be consumed in the Obesity Big-Bang.

 

End JPK Copyright 16/1/15

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:19 )