Nigel Huddleston has defended London 2012's legacy today ©Getty Images

British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has defended the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games calling its critics "too negative", while promising that lessons have been learned to improve the social impact of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games here.

Speaking in a media huddle attended by insidethegames, Huddleston said there is always room for improvement in his analysis of the Olympics, 10 years on from its Opening Ceremony.

Critics of the London 2012 legacy point to social housing promises being broken and physical activity targets not being met.

Approximately 26 per cent of English adults were deemed to be obese in 2010, as were approximately 16 per cent of children.

National Health Service statistics in 2019 saw this figure rise to 29 per cent of adults and 20 per cent of children.

"[For] the legacy of London 2012 - just go to Stratford and look around you," said Huddleston to insidethegames. 

"I don't think there can be any doubt of a legacy in terms of regenerating part of that city. 

"To a degree that will be happening in Birmingham because there is new infrastructure in place.

"We've been looking at 2012 and asking what more can be done.

"We have been learning lessons, but there has been a strong legacy.

"We can always improve on it, but I think people are too negative on 2012."

Nigel Huddleston with Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Katie Sadleir ©ITG
Nigel Huddleston with Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Katie Sadleir ©ITG

Huddleston said Government plans include a £35 million ($42.1 million/€41.6 million) investment into Sport England to improve activity, which took a nosedive during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on schools.

Distribution of equipment after the Games is to reach clubs and schools too.

"We are doing work with schools to ensure facilities can be opened up more which across the country is a problem," said Huddleston. 

"Nearly 40 per cent of all sport and leisure facilities are behind school gates and those are assets that are not sweated properly.

"We're opening up and putting more money into putting those facilities that are locked away too much."

The United Kingdom Government has been criticised for cutting funding in grassroots sports, which has been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Britain has had a strong run of results at the Summer Olympics in recent years, finishing third on the medal table at London 2012, second at Rio 2016 and fourth at Tokyo 2020.