The success for Team GB (baton change excepted) at the 2012 Olympics fills most of us with some good feeling. I wouldn’t call it pride (it’s not down to anything I’ve done) but it says something about what our countries can achieve. It’s a pity the same success is not reflected in the economy.

Success at the Olympics may inspire others to take up a sport, initially, but it takes much more than that to create the next generation of success. Otherwise where are the successors to Coe, Cram and Ovett? Momentum has to be maintained. There will not be the incentive of another London Olympics for a very long time (although from what we have seen in the last fortnight I think it should be a permanent venue) to contribute to the motivation of the next generations. That will require constant encouragement, facilities and the right coaches – and the right attitude taught to the future prospects, from a very young age. Give children the encouragement, the equipment, the training, the motivation – give them the tools, and they will do the job.

Encouragement does not come from the ‘nobody must lose’ philosophy. That provides no incentive to anyone to perform at their best, or to improve. Let’s hope the real success of these Olympic Games, and at least one of its legacies, is the end of the silly season for the attitude to children’s sport.