The British National Lottery has been helping the preparations for the 2012 London Olympic Games through extensive funding initiatives. This has not been restricted to the sports and sports facilities we can all see but also includes responsibilities to other areas that are not so obvious.
Projects supported by the British National Lottery funding include ‘In The Parks,’ an initiative in the London boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Greenwich and Hackney most at the centre of preparation for the Games. The programme is intended to encourage sport among residents of the boroughs through a series of annual Sports festivals.
The first of these events was held in September 2010 in Newnham, timed to coincide with the Tour of Britain cycle race. Appropriately the emphasis was on cycling but other sports, such as table tennis, taekwondo and basketball were also trialed. Olympic athletes were there to encourage the participants.
Three further events took place in the boroughs during 2011.
There are also two other projects, ‘Represent London,’ which involves local people in voluntary roles to help the Games run smoothly, and ‘Transformers,’ a programme encouraging local communities to come up with innovative ways to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
All three of these local projects are collectively known as the East London Business Alliance and are financed to the tune of £2.85 million by the UK lottery draw.