FIRST the good news. Sport’s wheel of fortune means the University of Leeds is set to be the venue for a state-of-the-art £4.5m cycle track that will double up as a permanent base for Britain’s world-conquering triathletes headed by the indomitable Brownlee brothers.
The University of Leeds is teaming up with the UK’s sports governing bodies to develop the land on its Bodington playing fields near Adel.
Now the bad news. Despite Yorkshire finishing 12th in the final medal table at the 2012 Olympics thanks to the iron-will of competitors like Alistair and Jonny Brownlee among many others from Leeds, this region remains the poor relation when it comes to the allocation of Lottery funding and money from other schemes.
So much for the 2012 slogan ‘Inspire a generation’ – or Lord Coe’s assurances that the whole of Britain, and not just London, was supposed to benefit from not just the Olympics but its legacy, too.
Not only does this funding disparity make Yorkshire’s achievements four years ago all the more remarkable, but this North-South divide on investment in grassroots sport will make it harder to persuade more people to take up regular exercise and, in turn, become less of a burden on the cash-strapped NHS. Only the most short-sighted of sports policies could score such a spectacular own goal.