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Home / Latest News / Lord Coe praises Cardiff for Olympic role

Lord Coe praises Cardiff for Olympic role

Lord Coe has praised Cardiff for preparing the country for last summer’s Olympics as he returned to the city to find out how Welsh sport is being developed.

The Locog chairman was a keynote speaker at the annual Sport Wales conference at the Cardiff City Stadium yesterday. Later, he went onto Fitzalan High School in Leckwith, where Paralympians from Australia based themselves ahead of last year’s Games.

And Lord Coe revealed it was while in the city for the very first event of London 2012 last July, the women’s football between Great Britain and New Zealand, he knew the Games would be a success.

He said: “I was really confident about the Games after my visit to the Millennium Stadium. Everybody knew what they had to do and had been tried and tested. I thought: if this is replicated across every one of the venues throughout the Games we will be OK.”

Recent figures have shown that sports like swimming (39%) and gymnastics (25%) have seen a hike in memberships since London 2012.

Meanwhile disability sports clubs have increased by 20% in the last year. Lord Coe emphasised the importance of sports clubs being “maintained and well resourced” in ensuring the Olympic legacy.

And he said he was confident in seeing the trend continue.

“We can challenge communities to make the most of what they witnessed last summer,” he said.

“It’s happening because people recognise in the lead-up to the Games there were things they did in local communities they are doing now.

“I was taken to Cardiff Sport volunteer programmes and was given stories and testimonials of those people as Games makers.

“They have all gone back into local communities to expand on their volunteering experiences.”

During Lord Coe’s visit to Fitzalan High, a Paralympic roadshow showcased sports like visually impaired football and wheelchair basketball.

Meanwhile pupils and teaching staff showcased some of their work to promote sport in the school and community.

Fitzalan headteacher Cath Bradshaw said: “We have used the Olympic theme in a lot of work we have done. We had an Olympic sports day planned for last year and participation rates in school have gone up and up in the past few years

“It helps with pupil engagement. They want to be in school. They are not just here to learn which is important and they obviously want to take part in extra curricular activities.”

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