All Things Salford - Article 9

Published on by mikemouldingcommunity-action

Sheffield, Watford, Edinburgh,, Cheshunt, Macclesfield, Dunblane and even Bolton and many others - all towns & cities in the UK that can proudly boast Olympic Gold Medalists at London 2012.


Amongst the Silver Medalists is Prestonian, my home city, and Lancashire Athlete Samantha Murray in the Modern Pentathlon.


But what about the city of Salford ? Well, we have Salfordian Ciaran Williams playing Handball for Team GB and apart from this I am unable to search anything of success where a true Salfordian has achieved success at London 2012.


Before we latch onto Superstars like Sir Chris Hoy simply because he chooses to live at Salford Quays, I have to be honest and say I am somewhat diasppointed that the city of Salford were not able to produce a sporting "star" at London 2012.


But am I surprised ?


The Salford Advertiser has recently reported on the aftermath of the Salford riots 12 months on, I accept that things have moved on, life gets back to some sort of normality for most. A young man from Salford gets life imprisonment for a horrendous murder and we are reading drastic cuts in services to come, services for young people no doubt to be slashed, youth workers to lose their jobs, 7,000 school places to be found, temporary buildings to be built no doubt on school playgrounds and school playing fields ?


Salford Labour are failing our school children and young people in this city.


Salford Mayoral Candidate Paul Massey offered his services to assist Salford's first ever directly-elected Mayor Ian Stewart to help young people in our city following the riots in Salford and the hideous murder of Anuj Bidve. Ian Stewart turned down this offer but what Paul Massey did correctly highlight in my opinion is the failure of Salford Council and Salford Labour in our young people in Salford from the shortage of school places to the lack of investment in our youth services to the clear decline in Salford's sporting achievements in recent years.


London 2012 has clearly demonstrated sport has a vital role in UK society. I ask myself that why has our young people in our city chose to engage in riots rather than use their energy in an amateur boxing ring ?


Ian Stewart is Salford's first ever directly-elected Mayor and he says he will soon publish his vision for our city in the new year.


Of course, when and if he stands for re-election in 2016, Ian Stewart will be tested by his performance and his legacy for our city which will be wide-ranging from levels from crime, poverty, housing, education and sporting achievements and much more.


Sporting playing fields should not be built on. Youth services should be invested in and sporting clubs in our city should be well supported by our Council.


However, how saddened I am even more when I find that even the historic Salford Harriers, that produced Salfordian athletics stars like Bill Roberts from Ordsall who captained the 1948 British Athletics Team, are not even based in our city but to be honest I am not surprised.


If Mr Stewart is looking for a legacy in his first tenure as Mayor of Salford, it would be to provide first-class sporting facilities in our schools and sporting clubs and youth services that results in the "production" of world class athletes competing in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.


We have 4 years to Rio and he has the time to provide structures in our schools, youth and sports clubs to give our young people something to do, something to aim for and to help bring a sense of civic pride to Salford which has been sadly lacking in recent years.


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