Talking Sport: How do we build on memorable sporting year?

2012 was a truly incredible year for sport and many Brits will reflect on it as the greatest in UK sporting history, writes Josh Harrison.

Monday, 7th January 2013, 3:37 pm

Olympic heroes showed the world we can compete with the biggest nations, Bradley Wiggins became the first Brit to win the Tour de France and Chelsea defied the odds to win their first Champions League trophy.

Wiggins’ Tour De France success combined with the gold medal he won in the Olympics earned him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, but he faced stiff competition from other triumphant Olympians, such as Mo Farah, who won the 5,000m and 10,000m, Jess Ennis, Ben Ainslie and Andy Murray.

Murray followed up his appearance in the final at Wimbledon with Olympic gold and victory at Flushing Meadows, becoming the first British man to win a grand slam in 76 years.

It was also a memorable year in the Premier League as a Sergio Aguero strike deep into added time secured Manchester City their first title in 44 years in the most dramatic fashion.

Their neighbours and bitter rivals Manchester United were seconds away from claiming the title once again but two goals in four minutes sent the City fans into ecstasy.

It was an iconic moment and there will probably never be such a thrilling conclusion to a season ever again.

The only disappointment of the year has to be the English national team’s failure to progress past the quarter-final stage in major competition once again - but that’s something we’ve come to expect.

After the average showing at Euro 2012, it wasn’t long before the nation’s pride was restored with remarkable performances by so many athletes at the London Olympic and Paralympic games.

In golf, Europe achieved one of the greatest comebacks in Ryder Cup history by winning eight and tying one of the 12 singles matches after the US led 10-6 and required four-and-a-half points to win on the final day.

It was an outstanding comeback and Rory McIlroy became the youngest multiple major winner since the great Spaniard Seve Ballesteros 32 years earlier.

Now we must build on the year’s sporting success. Children should be encouraged to take up sport from a young age to ensure the next generation can achieve greatness in many different sports.

Hopefully young athletes will be inspired by the sporting heroes of 2012 and will aim to emulate their success - but grass roots and amateur levels of sport must be funded and run well.

If that happens, we will be going in the right direction to becoming of the top sporting countries in the world.

What do you think? How can we build on the sporting success of 2012? Email [email protected] or send a tweet to @joshharrison08