London 2012 Olympic legacy: a big sporting society?

Devine, Cathy (2012) London 2012 Olympic legacy: a big sporting society? International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 5 (2). pp. 257-279.

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The Olympic Charter asserts that ‘the practice of sport is a human right’ and outlines role 12 of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as being ‘to encourage and support the development of sport for all’. This signals an aspiration to the right to sport …for all. Notwithstanding this, the UK Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government has consolidated and extended a shift in UK sport policy from ‘sport for social good’ to ‘competitive sport for sports sake.’ In December 2010 the government published ‘Plans for the Legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’. The first of four areas of focus is to harness ‘the United Kingdom’s passion for sport to increase grass roots participation, particularly by young people’ and encourage ‘the whole population to be more physically active’. This appears to relate to sport for some, and physical activity for others. Nevertheless, the coalition has signalled a belief in ‘big society’ and democratic not bureaucratic accountability.

This paper proposes a theoretical framework of a ‘big sporting society’ comprising three generations of sporting rights. This enables an evaluation of emergent sport policy in relation to the London 2012 Olympic Games legacy and the Olympic Charter. It is argued that the realisation of the 2012 legacy relating to the IOC’s aspiration to sport as a human right…for all, and consequent democratic sporting accountability, necessitates a ‘sport for all’ rather than ‘competitive sport for sports sake’ policy direction, and the development of all three generations of sporting rights, resulting in a ‘big sporting society’.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN: 1940-6959
Departments: Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Sports and Physical Activity
Depositing User: Cathy Devine
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 10:57
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 10:46


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