House of Commons Library

London Olympics 2012: a sporting legacy?

Published Friday, March 18, 2016

This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at attempts to use the 2012 Olympics to increase grassroots participation in sport. It also looks at the new cross-government sporting strategy, published in December 2015.

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The Labour and Coalition Governments both published plans to use the 2012 Olympic Games to increase grassroots participation in sport.

According to a November 2013 House of Lords Select Committee report, a “post-Games step change in participation across the UK and across different sports did not materialise.”

In June 2015, the Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch, admitted that participation rates in sport were “not good enough” and that the Government was working on a new strategy for sport. This was published, following a consultation exercise, in December 2015.

The new strategy notes that, for over a decade, Government policy had concentrated on getting more people participating in sport and winning more Olympic and Paralympic medals. While these remain part of the strategy, future policy will focus on five broader outcomes that sport can deliver:

  • physical wellbeing
  • mental wellbeing
  • individual development
  • social and community development
  • economic development

Government funding for sport and physical activity will go to projects that can demonstrate how they will make a measurable and positive contribution to some or all of the above outcomes.

Commons Briefing papers SN04868

Author: John Woodhouse

Topic: Sports and Olympic Games

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