In the wake of Wales fantastic Six Nations victory, I headed to London 2012’s headquarters to meet Sebastian Coe and his team at LOCOG to talk about how the Games can best benefit the whole of Wales. Our teams have regular contact but it was handy to sit together in his office at Canary Wharf and go through a whole range of issues that people I meet all around Wales speak to me when I see them – from the plans to work with children and young people to culture, education and – of course – sport.
His office is just high enough to see the Olympic Park in the distance which Seb pointed out to me. The Park itself is a massive project at the centre of the Games, but there are so many other things to think about - the potential benefits of hosting the Australian Paralympic Team for training, Welsh businesses getting contracts and securing local ‘Live Sites’.
As the excitement builds toward Beijing in August and September, the eyes of the world will turn not only to London but also the whole of the UK – and I want Wales to feature in everyone’s thinking as a small nation that’s full of culture and great at sport. Seb was particularly pleased to hear about ‘Going For Gold’, our Newport project with 1,000s of people signed up to participate in sport and improve their health. I think this is something that could be further developed and the rest of the country could learn from. Perhaps, a bit like our Six Nations triumph?