An Olympic legacy for grassroots sport
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to radically increase participation within sport in Britain.
While there is confidence regarding the 'hard' legacy of the Olympic infrastructure and facilities, it is vital to ensure the delivery of the 'soft' legacy of increased participation in sport and recreation. Indeed, the promise of increased participation was the defining feature of the bid presented to the International Olympic Committee in 2005.
As there is no evidence to suggest that a major sporting event has ever automatically generated a sustained legacy of participation for the host nation, the Alliance has long argued that delivering the 'soft' legacy requires careful planning and sustained investment.
Since the bid was won, the Alliance has called for a legacy which embraces three dimensions:
- Across the whole of the UK, not just London and the south east
- Across the sport and recreation, not just Olympic disciplines
- Across all abilities - from elite success through to those who are otherwise inactive.
In September 2012 the Minister for Sport annouced a ten point plan for securing the sporting legacy.
- Alarmingly, an Alliance survey conducted in 2011 found that 84% of clubs do not see the Games as an opportunity for their sport or recreation. This is a stark warning that the potential legacy for grassroots sport is in danger of remaining unrealised.
- An updated survey after the Games in 2012 compounded these earlier results with three quarters of grassroots clubs saying government hasn’t done enough to promote a participation legacy.
- The Alliance is calling for practical action to help deliver a legacy for grassroots sport, including an extension of the Community Amateur Sports Club scheme, increased provision of sport in schools and a cross-government strategy to promote physical activity.
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