Principal Lecturer and Head of Department for Leisure, Peter Robinson
Mega sporting events such as The Olympics, The Commonwealth Games and the Football World Cup are important for reasons that extend beyond the events themselves.
The competition to host these events, and many others, are driven by the potential to develop a long-term legacy, to benefit quality of life in communities, to support the development of tourism, to drive economic impact and to attract inward investment.
Whilst the Olympics is centred on London it is important to recognise the opportunities it presents to other regions, including the West Midlands, a region which has been visited twice by the Olympic Torch.
With Coventry hosting the Football competitions the West Midlands will benefit from the Games directly (especially as competition in Coventry started before the official Opening Ceremony!) but the opportunity for indirect benefits are even greater.
Local events, Olympic themed activities and the cultural Olympiad are all evidence that the legacy that has spread already - and it is a rare thing for a legacy to be created before the event itself has take place.
Flagship destinations such as Stratford Upon Avon, Warwick Castle and The Bull Ring will likely form a part of many international Olympic visitors itineraries over the next couple of weeks, as they plan their UK stay, especially as the World Shakespeare Festival takes place across the summer.
There is also no better chance for dedicated Olympic followers to visit the spiritual birthplace of The modern Olympics at Much Wenlock than this summer, so why not contribute to the Legacy by getting involved in the celebration that is summer 2012, and make your own contribution to the legacy of the Olympics in the West Midlands.