APRIL 26 - GRASS ROOTS sport will lose out on almost £1.6billion thanks to the overspend on the London Olympics, it was claimed by Derek Mapp (pictured) today.
The former chairman of Government National Lottery distributor Sport England made his claim in an interview published today with the Daily Mail.
He said clubs and organisations were already feeling the pinch from a "significant diversion of what would normally be going into grassroots sport."
Mapp said: "People are increasingly noticing that they cannot get funding."
Sport England has to invest £295 million, including £40 million towards the £242 million Aquatics Centre - ten times its average spend on a swimming pool.
Mapp said: "Somebody has got to be accountable for that investment.
"Why should it mean that nine other cities miss out?"
The demand for money from the National Lottery is stripping Sport England of a further £100 million, meaning it is losing £395 million in total - enough to build nearly 4,000 multi-purpose floodlit games areas, Mapp claimed.
Mapp said that for every £1 invested by Sport England in facilities they could expect £3 from sources such as local councils, meaning the true cost to grassroots sport will be £1.58 billion.
He told the Daily Mail: "If you cannot put the £1 in then you do not get the £3 either.
"There has been a loss of income and because of that there is no doubt that there is less money to distribute and that means there's less money to invest in grassroots sport."
"Will there be less money for distribution?
"And I have yet to see anything in the regions that benefits.
"The Games is London based.
"When you are diverting money from the regions, it has to be owned by the country for everybody to feel comfortable."
Mapp resigned as chairman of Sport England in November because he did not agree with the direction the organisation was taking under then Culture Secretary James Purnell.
Mapp said: "Designs good for the Olympics will be difficult to sustain in their future role.
"Who is going to pay to keep all these facilities open?
"It is going to cost a lot more to run these places."
Liberal Democrats spokesman Don Foster said: "We were promised the Games would provide a legacy.
"What we are doing is crazy - raiding the coffers of those who'd provide a sporting legacy to fill the Olympics black hole."
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: "All current commitments will be honoured."
The full article can be read at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=562146&in_page_id=1770.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images