As reported by AP, “Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has secured funding to give away 125,000 free tickets to local school children for the 2012 Olympics. Johnson says the deal means one in eight students will be able to attend Olympic events for free. London’s Olympic organizing committee had already made 50,000 tickets available to the mayor for city schools. The committee agreed Thursday that an extra 75,000 tickets will also be funded by its hospitality program.”
This is great news. There is concern with major events that the opportunity to enable a real legacy is often lost due to poor planning and/or program implementation. Pre-event, the focus is on getting ready to host. Post-event, the glow fades and distractions arise.
All stakeholders of major events should aim to leverage these wondrous events for further community engagement and individual development. One way to create such a lasting legacy is to give as many people as possible, especially the youth, opportunities to see the magic of the events…in person. The connection with the event, the locale, and other stakeholders will be that which can extend way beyond the event. A true legacy is that.