The London Olympics are now less than a year away.
The handling of this immense project has been exemplary in many respects and has already given the country much to be proud of.
It will be a great success as a sporting spectacular, of that there can be no doubt.
But we will miss the opportunity of a lifetime if we fall into the trap of treating the Games as an end in themselves.
They are not; they are a means to many ends.
And, as things stand, there is one vitally important goal on which we risk failing to deliver - increasing participation in grassroots sport.
If, come 2015 or 2020, we look back and find that hosting the world's greatest sports extravaganza has failed to trigger enduringly higher participation levels in grass-roots sport and other physical activities, it will amount to a failure of colossal proportions, with potentially severe consequences for the health and wellbeing of our increasingly couch-bound nation.
That is why it is so worrying that, just one year out from the igniting of the Olympic Cauldron, this is the direction in which we appear to be heading.
Figures recently released by Sport England indicate that of the 30 sports that they financially support, no fewer than 21 show a reduction in participation.
That is frankly a disastrous statistic which explains why I am calling for a change of strategy under which Sport England would stop just being a bank for sports governing bodies and instead lead an urgent drive to lift participation in sport and physical activity across the country.
Just as some of our more orthodox bankers have failed the country in recent years, so Sport England's strategy since 2008 has been fundamentally flawed and has failed to deliver on two out of three strategic outcomes.
Sport England must now as a matter of urgency seek to start to mend its ways by encouraging and assisting greater cooperation among the wide range of bodies which have an interest in driving up participation in sport and physical activities in the UK.
Sport England also needs to embrace and start delivering fully the objectives of the Active Peoples Survey on sport and physical activity.
Time is now short and leadership is needed if the London Olympics is to be used to drive up participation.
Sport England have a duty to bring together the public and private sectors, along with the voluntary sector and sports governing bodies to address the decline in participation.
More specifically, organisations such as sporta, Fitness Industry Association, Great North Run, London Marathon and Race for Life, as well as sports governing bodies, should be encouraged by Sport England to work together to drive up participation in Olympic year.
If we do not act now, we will be left in the blocks, and a historic opportunity presented to the country six years ago by Sebastian Coe and his team will have gone to waste.
Richard Caborn is a former UK Sports Minister