London 2012: Olympic Games will not improve mass participation in sport

(July 27, 2012, Play the Game) – JUSTIFYING multi-billion Olympic spending by claiming that the Games in London will inspire more Britons to participate in sports may be plain wrong, reveals a new study. The London bid originally stated that the motivation for hosting the Games was to “enhance sport in London and the United Kingdom forever.”

New survey suggests that the Olympics will have little effect on mass participation in sport. Photo: Brighton photographer/Flickr

“Give us our Ball Back: Reclaiming Sport for the Common Good”, a new report by the two British think tanks, the Sports Think Tank and Theos, argues that politician’s claims about the benefits of the Olympics with regards to health, values, morality, and the economy are misleading.

According to a recent British survey, only 4 per cent of people agreed strongly with the statement “I’m inspired to play more sport at the moment because of the London 2012 Olympics”, and 80 per cent disagreed or disagreed strongly. This, the report argues, suggests that the Olympics do not have any significant influence on the level of sports participation.

The report suggests that “sport is no longer just a matter of leisure, entertainment or of spectacular international tournaments. We have come to expect it to make us better people, to contribute to world peace, to develop our economies and make us healthy. Clearly, sport can do these things, but the report argues that firstly we need to be clear that sport has now often been reduced to being a tool rather than something with intrinsic worth.”

Find the full report here

Read more about the Sports Think Tank here

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