'Olympic spirit' grounded in parks movement Ken Worpole argues

The so-called "Olympic spirit" feel-good factor ushered in by the games this summer is thanks to, and grounded in the traditional parks movement, says a leading writer and social commentator.

Ken Worpole told a major HLF summit on 25 October: "The great success of the Olympics and the ambience of generosity to people we call the Olympic spirit contrasts the idea of this country as harsh, broken and xenophobic.

"I would argue the Olympic spirit is the traditional parks spirit writ large that happens when communities go into well-designed parks. Something changes them: it happened at the Olympics but it happens every day in the park.

"We have to remind politicians the way to perpetuate this is through continual investment in Britain's parks. This is an ideological fight for the spirit of the nation."

US Trust for Public Land director Peter Harnik said: "it's ok to be militantly, outspokenly pro parks but it must be fact-based with evidence and statistics."

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