Our first stop was Bradford. I spoke at a local business conference to highlight the benefits the region had already reaped from the Games, and how they can continue to make the most of the opportunities that London 2012 has to offer the whole of the UK.
It is fantastic to see Yorkshire already embracing business opportunities, with 28 direct contracts already won but many more in the pipeline. Two years out from the Games, this is only the beginning of our vast procurement process – there are still hundreds of contracts to win. Companies can register their interest on CompeteFor, our online business network
Not only has the region excelled in terms of business opportunities, but the next event I attended at a local gallery showcased the creativity of Bradford and revealed what a truly multi-cultural city it is.
People from all over the world have settled in Bradford and what an opportunity to showcase this. Precious Cargo, the Stories of the World Cultural Olympiad project, sees a group of young people showcasing the best of their local communities and heritage. It was fascinating to learn about Bradford's rich history – something I'd never fully appreciated.
On leaving the gallery I was greeted by a local cheerleading group and lots of local school children. The enthusiasm for the Games and passion for grassroots involvement there was phenomenal. Another two schools have been recognised by London 2012 and are now a part of our Get Set network.
I also had the chance to cheer on 250 pupils from 16 schools in a light sports competition, and also visited Shipley Pool to see local divers train – we could have a few future Olympians here!
Finally, the highlight of the day: together with Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport and Olympics, I awarded the 500th Inspire mark project to a truly inspirational initiative called 'Steps to Inclusion'.
This is a fantastic programme that is helping make disability sport more accessible, a London 2012 bid promise. We are committed to integrating disability sport with the wider community to create a lasting legacy, and this project is a prime example of this.
Overall, I had an inspiring visit to Yorkshire. I was fortunate enough to meet people who are genuinely inspired by the Games and who are committed to making a real difference in their region!