Lord Sebastian Coe
Olympic gold medallist and London 2012 organiser Lord Coe writes about the importance of local newspapers for Local Newspaper Week. This is what he said.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the perfect local story. I have said this at least a hundred times since we started on our journey to the London 2012 Games almost a decade ago.
Although the Games can only be awarded to one city, in our case it is London, every local newspaper can have its own story to tell, connecting their readers to what is being trumpeted as this year’s biggest global story happening right here in the UK.
I am a product of local newspapers and have always been an avid reader of them. I was born in London, grew up in the West Midlands and Sheffield, trained in Loughborough and was a local MP in Falmouth. My longest and most rewarding relationships were those I made during my early days in athletics on the Sheffield Morning Telegraph.
When we bid for these Games a decade ago we promised to make these Games UK wide and it is our local media, particularly local newspapers, that are helping us do this. They are carrying the stories of the thousands of businesses who have benefitted from the Games, the millions of people who are helping to stage the Games – from volunteers to performers, the thousands of athletes and coaches preparing to participate in the Games and the 57 million people who are just 10 miles away from the Olympic flame as it travels around the UK. These stories are brought to life in local papers up and down the country and it is for this reason that I am supporting this year's Local Newspaper Week.
The sporting events may not be taking place in your town or your city but there will be possibly hundreds of people gearing up to welcome the world and celebrate the Games. My commitment is to work with all local newspapers to make sure they know when the events are so they can alert readers and capture the moments for all their readers to share.