Games have created valuable legacy for city
THE summer of sporting heroics brought people together – and is leaving a lasting legacy in the city.
While Games Makers from the city who devoted their time and goodwill for free get to take their own bow, council chiefs say the hoped-for London 2012 effect could prompt a golden era for sport in Plymouth.
Deputy council leader Peter Smith said: "We hope the Olympics and Paralympics leave a legacy in the city – and we're already seeing signs.
"Staff at our Life Centre have said they are seeing more people coming along and trying different things as a result of the Games and we hope this will continue.
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"Our council officers are on standby for any legacy funding made available by the Government. While we have the Life Centre there are other sporting centres which are getting old and tatty and we want to upgrade them.
"We have heard about divers who now want to relocate to Plymouth."
Members of the Plymouth Leander Swimming Association will be cheering on four of their team-mates at the parade.
While Antony James swam for Team GB and Ruta Meilutyte for Lithuania, Jamila Lunkuse swam at London 2012 for Uganda and Jade Howard for Zambia.
With the four athletes, two coaches and an assistant team manager at the Olympics, Plymouth Leander say they are the strongest UK swimming club that is not a British Swimming funded Intensive Training Centre.
Club chairman Neil Glasson said: "This is a fantastic day for the Olympic swimmers and the whole club. The swimmers will be honoured to have such fantastic support from the people of Plymouth on this day."
Games Makers will also feature at the parade, joining in the wake of the open-top bus at the St Andrew's end of Royal Parade.
Josie Scobling, a press officer at Cornwall College, was one of many from the city who worked as a Games Maker during London 2012. She will join the homecoming parade this afternoon, proudly sporting her Games uniform.
"I worked as a reporter on the water polo for the Olympic News Service," she said. "All the Games Makers were amazed at the recognition we got during the Olympics.
"We went to help the Games, so the recognition and thanks was something that none of us expected.
"I didn't meet one unhappy Games Maker, regardless of what they were doing. They were never miserable, but always smiling and engaging with the public. They worked long hours, some sleeping on friend's floors or in tents.
"For me, it showed how good Britain can be when you pull together."
Fellow city Games Makers Keith and Jayne Reed, of the Erme Valley Harriers running club, worked on ensuring all the Olympic results were accurate.
Another couple joining the parade will be Margaret Talling and her husband Bernard, who worked at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The couple, from Tamerton Foliot, were just two of 70,000 volunteers at London 2012.
Margaret said: "It was amazing from the start. We felt part of something quite special.
"I think the volunteering was a key part of the success."