Dame Tessa Jowell visits MK College

Wed 13 Feb 2013

Dame Tessa Jowell told a packed audience at Milton Keynes College that coordinating London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games was the greatest achievement of a long and illustrious political career.  She said “ I think everyone in Britain would like to bottle a little bit of what we were as a country,” during the games last year.

When it was first suggested that Britain should host the 2012 games Ms Jowell was in a minority of one around Tony Blair’s cabinet table.  All her colleagues opposed the plan as did the civil servants in the Department for Culture Media and Sport.  Even the then Prime Minister told her, “Isn’t Paris going to win it anyway?”

Ms Jowell says she always believed, “the Olympics would showcase the best of modern Britain - a Britain where our diversity, and our organisational and creative skills would be fully on display.”

During the Olympics she stayed close to Team GB actually living in an apartment in the Olympic village where on Super Saturday she bumped into a tall red-haired man and asked him in what event he was competing.  Two hours later and after wishing him good luck she had the surreal pleasure of watching Milton Keynes’ own Greg Rutherford win the Gold Medal for long jump. 

Ms Jowell met and was questioned by a number of students at the College which has a growing reputation for sports courses.  She said that the greatest legacy of the games would be the creation of a new generation of leaders through sport.  She said she was “hugely impressed” with the young people she had met there who would be wonderful ambassadors for sport and for the city.

On the fantastic success of the games, she said, “It’s incredible what can be achieved as a group if you don’t mind who takes the credit.”

Milton Keynes College Principal, Dr Julie Mills, said, “It is inspiring for students and staff at the college to hear how Tessa Jowell won thorough in the battle to host the games.  Listening to her, we all realised how one person’s commitment to a cause can make such a difference.  It is wonderful that as a College we are able to attract celebrated speakers of such high quality and achievement.” 

Details of Sports Courses at Milton Keynes College can be found at: http://www.mkcollege.ac.uk/courses/by-department/sports-science/

Back to all articles