London Mayor Boris Johnson was on hand here to help launch London Sport, which aims to inspire one million inhabitants in the English capital to be more active by 2020 and ensure the city becomes the most physically active in the world.
Johnson also announced a further £1 million ($1.5 million/€1.4 million) investment into his Sports Legacy Programme over the next 12 months to help to deliver the "Blueprint for a Physically Active Sporting City".
The Sports Legacy Programme, set-up in 2009 and spearheaded by the Mayor's Commissioner for Sport and chair of the London Sport Board Kate Hoey, is supporting the promise of an Olympic and Paralympic legacy by investing £22.5 million ($33.7 million/€31.7 million) in projects across every Borough in the city and creating hundreds of thousands of opportunities for citizens to get into sport.
So far, almost 400,000 have participated in projects funded by the Programme, with more than 13,000 coaches and officials trained and over 100 facilities built, refurbished or upgraded.
Furthermore, in excess of 30,000 people have learnt to swim through the Make a Splash mobile swimming pools programme, it is claimed.
"My political belief is the idea that if people are able to exercise, people are able to take part in sport, no matter how badly or incompetently, no matter how useless they may be, they will get a huge amount out of it and they will benefit psychologically, emotionally, intellectually in all sorts of ways," said Johnson.
"It's a no brainer and a hugely important investment for society."
London Sport has set out its principles in its new strategy, including unlocking and sharing insight and knowledge of grassroots sporting and physical activity habits gained from delivering sports programmes in London, and influencing the public and private sectors to provide increased funding.
A target has been set for 2018 for London Sport's annual income to have increased to £10 million ($15 million/€14 million).
"My view is that sport should be a key part of children's education and a key part of our lives and I will always believe that, whatever guise, whatever role I may be playing," said Johnson.
Results from Sport England's latest annual Active People Survey indicated that over the Olympic and Paralympic period from 2011 to 2013, there was an upward trend in people taking part in physical activity and sport in the capital.
London Sport is aiming to accelerate the levels of growth over the next five years.
"I think sport underpins many things that are really high on the political agenda," said Jennie Price, chief executive of Sport England.
"Health has dominated, wellbeing has dominated, as has equality in society.
"Those are all the things the politicians are talking about - sport sits at the heart of that.
"We reflect the consequences of some of those challenges and we can be the answer, particularly on health.
"And I think the actually the structures of putting more money into local authorities, giving them the job of health and wellbeing, allows them to join together with sport agenda much more tightly."
London Sport is currently in discussions with Loughborough University to develop an index comparing levels of participation among Olympic and Paralympic host cities.
"The launch of London Sport marks a hugely significant moment for grassroots sport in London," said Hoey.
"Both Sport England and the Mayor through his Sports Legacy Programme have been doing tremendous things to encourage more people to be physically active, but now, with shared ambition and vigour, we hope to make London the most physically active city on the planet."
Peter Fitzboydon, chief executive of London Sport, added: "London has proven it can host the most prestigious sports events in the world, now it is time to prove that we can deliver for grassroots sport.
"Not enough people are realising the benefits of being physically active and our role is to work out why, and do whatever is needed to give everyone the opportunity to be more active.
"Our team will help the private and public sectors offer opportunities to people of all ages and abilities to find an activity that inspires them - from parkour to pilates to pentathlon.
"There is an activity for everyone; our job is to make sure opportunities to be active inspire and reach many more people."
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