This weekend marks one year since the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. An event which changed the atmosphere in London and which has changed the attitudes of many.
There were numerous things I adored about the Olympics. As I walked around London I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride in every step I took. Games makers everywhere we went were smiling and happy to help. People were flocking to London to see people participate in sometimes little known sports but be instantly hooked. Children were creating new heroes. Olympians dominated the New Years Honours list.
I was fortunate enough to meet Beth Tweddle the Gold Medal winning Gymnast at a school in Kingston. This primary school has been rebuilt and to help inspire a generation had named all the classrooms after Olympians from 2012. What I loved the most however was how eagerly the children listened to Beth tell them about the hard work she put into winning. To me that is a real role model and one I would be proud of any child of mine to aspire to be.
And then when we needed a fix we had the Paralympics. And change came once more. The sense of pride hit me again. But this time for a different reason; there was a sense of inclusivity, acceptance and celebration of the achievements of the Paralympians which I am confident have helped to positively change attitudes to disability forever. And kudos where it is due, the way Channel 4 covered the games had a lot to do with this.
So, this weekend, watch the encore and then think- how has this inspired you? Have you carried out the goals you set yourself in the height of Olympic mania last year? Personally I have completed a 10 mile run and continued cycling 40+ miles a week but I have neglected my swimming: getting this back on track and completing the Love Kingston run challenge are my personal goals.
Statistics quoted in the newspaper claim that 83% of us think the Olympics have made more people in Britain play sport. It is thought that globally, the impact of London 2012 has surpassed anything forecast. How about trying something new? Cricket is in season, Football and Rugby are about to restart their seasons.
If you cannot take up a new sport how about continuing the spirit of the games makers and volunteer? Something small such as leading a monthly walk for Change 4 Life would have a real impact on other people's well being.
It could be time to sign up for a personal challenge such as a run- those local to me have a great choice including the Love Kingston Run Challenge in October (good time to train) which you can register for here: http://humanrace.co.uk/events/running/kingston-run-challenge