Yorkshire's going for 2012 Olympics gold

PUBLISHED: 23:41 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:14 20 February 2013

Fencing champion Caitlin Chang from Harrogate, waving the flag for the 2012 Olympics

Fencing champion Caitlin Chang from Harrogate, waving the flag for the 2012 Olympics

Yorkshire could be a big winner at the London 2012 Games. Olympics committee chief executive Paul Deighton explains how

One of the many things that can be said about Yorkshire people is that they are not afraid of a challenge, especially if it has something to do with sport. The recent successes of Yorkshire athletes Jessica Ennis and Alistair Brownlee on the world sports stage are inspirational and the fact that the bid for the 2012 London Olympics was led by Sheffield's Sebastian Coe demonstrates that we not only 'have a go', but we're hugely successfulwhen we do.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are almost exactly 1,000 days away, less than three years, and the question often heard is: 'So what's in it for us?' Well actually quite a lot, for those who are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities, says Paul Deighton, who as chief executive of the London Olympics Committee has the task of ensuring that one of the world's biggest sporting events is delivered on time and on budget.

The dates he is working to are July 27th to August 12th for the Olympic Games and August 29th to September 9th for the Paralympics.

'Yorkshire is world renowned for its passionate love of sport and we want to ensure that the region is at the front of the pack whenit comes to benefiting from the Games,'
said Mr Deighton.

His committee has a budget of 1.2bn and with thousands of contracts and supply chain places, there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to become involved.

A recent whistle-stop tour of Yorkshire brought him face to face with people already preparing for London 2012, those looking for a boost to their businesses in the shape of contracts and those wanting to check out the first specialist outdoor gym, adiZone, to be built outside London. Hemsworth in West Yorkshire was the setting and the former banker seemed happy enough to slip off his jacket, roll up his sleeves and try out some of the equipment.

The gym is eye catching. First impressions are that it's a playground but with serious kit provided by Olympics' sponsor Adidas. The scuff marks on the equipment and footprints on the brightly coloured flooring are evidence that it's already being well and truly put through its paces.

And not just by the fit and fanatical. Showing Mr Deighton how it all worked were ladies from HOPE (Hemsworth Older People's Exercise Group), young people from a weight management programme, and little ones in the dance area who got down to the serious business of boogeying to the sounds of Abba.

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