Councillor Lister writes to Putney

on Olympics 2008 & 2012....


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Cllr Lister's previous diary

Comment on this story on the

It's hard to overstate the significance of the last two weeks in Beijing.

The immediate reaction is a palpable sense of national pride in the achievements of our sportsmen and women.

But Team GB's success is only the start.

Of course we want to win even more medals on home soil, but much more is at stake here.

Now everyone is counting the days to 2012. We are all looking forward to the opportunity to show off our wonderfully vibrant and welcoming city to the world.

We'll play our part in Wandsworth by offering some of the borough’s excellent sports facilities as pre-games training camps for national squads, supported by the Roehampton Club and Roehampton University.

We'll be cheering on our local Olympians, just as we did in Beijing, but more than ever we will be working to transmit the infectious appeal of sport to our young people.

There's so much good work that goes on in schools and clubs throughout our borough. Now there will be a new focus for this activity – and the potential for reaching out to many more participants.

The old adage about taking part being more important than winning may look a little dated in the warm afterglow of Beijing. It is after all the prospect of success that drives all competitors. But if participation in sport helps young people to build a sense of purpose and stronger ties with the world around them then that's a goal we should all be working towards.

Edward Lister

August 27, 2008

Edward Lister is the Leader of Wandsworth Council and a member for Putney's Thamesfield ward.