Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Editorial

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Editorial

Article excerpt

The Olympic Games has emerged as an important tool of urban and regional renewal

(p. 125 Wang and Theodoraki). However, there is much debate as to the significance in legacy of encouraging participation in sport. Although there is suggestion that the 2002 Commonwealth Games held in Manchester demonstrated the positive impact mega-sporting events can have on engendering domestic interest and boosting sport participation,1 data from Sydney would suggest otherwise (p. 109 Coalter). In addition, as Coalter neatly points out, nearly all spectators of any Olympics will watch the event on TV and, therefore, could it be argued that we are inspiring a nation of couch potatoes and armchair athletes? The point is well put that the accepted model of behaviour change should be challenged.

Even so, a London Olympics could prove to be an important catalyst for sport in England, although for this to happen, the facilities, the volunteers, the broader infrastructure, and the passion and interest created - must be carefully woven into a much more comprehensive strategy for sport.1 Past Games have not always lived up to bold promises of long-term employment, social housing, increased sports participation or even increased numbers of tourists. However, Barcelona in 1992 demonstrated that by integrating the Games within a broader regeneration strategy, it is possible to deliver some lasting benefits.2

Notwithstanding, there is no doubt that a legacy is evident and there is much competition between nations to host such an event; countries can enhance their global footprint and profile by being associated with the Games. …

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