Sport and Health: Exploring the Current State of Play

Edited by Daniel Parnell, Peter Krustrup (September 2017)

Each chapter looks at the effectiveness of sport interventions across the lifespan for biological, psychological and social benefits, including those that utilise a settings-based approach to health promotion such as schools and professional sport clubs. Drawing on cutting-edge research which examines policy and practice at community and elite levels, this book addresses key topics such as education, engaging children and young adults, mental health, sport sponsorship and volunteering.

Sport management issues in an era of austerity

Edited by Daniel Parnell,Karl Spracklen and Peter Millward (December 2016)

The economic crisis that has engulfed Europe since 2008 and the impact of austerity measures on sport management, has received scant scholarly attention to date. Fiscal restraint and significant changes to public funding have meant that many European sport organisations are under increasing pressure to deliver high quality services within boundaries of limited resources and time constraints concerning the delivery of success (Kerwin, 2016). Some areas of the sport industry, particularly the non-profit sector, have faced increased scrutiny and drive for value for money during the economic downturn (Gleave et al., 2010; Parnell, Pringle, Widdop, et al., 2015). The relationship between austerity policy and sport management is the focus of this Special Feature.

The Olympic Games and raising sport participation: a systematic review of evidence and an interrogation of policy for a demonstration effect

Edited by Mick Weed, Esther Coren, Jo Fiore, Ian Wellard, Dikaia Chatziefstathiou, Louise Mansfield and Suzanne Dowse (January 2015)

Research questions: Can a demonstration effect, whereby people are inspired by elite sport, sports people and events to actively participate themselves, be harnessed from an Olympic Games to influence sport participation? Did London 2012 sport participation legacy policy draw on evidence about a demonstration effect, and was a legacy delivered?

Research methods: A worldwide systematic review of English language evidence returned 1778 sources iteratively reduced by the author panel, on advice from an international review panel to 21 included sources that were quality appraised and synthesised narratively. The evidence was used to examine the influence of a demonstration effect on sport participation engagement and to interrogate sport participation legacy policy for London 2012.

Results and findings: There is no evidence for an inherent demonstration effect, but a potential demonstration effect, properly leveraged, may deliver increases in sport participation frequency and re-engage lapsed participants. Despite setting out to use London 2012 to raise sport participation, successive UK Governments' policy failures to harness the potential influence of a demonstration effect on demand resulted in failure to deliver increased participation.

Implications: If the primary justification for hosting an Olympic Games is the potential impact on sport participation, the Games are a bad investment. However, the Games can have specific impacts on sport participation frequency and re-engagement, and if these are desirable for host societies, are properly leveraged by hosts, and are one among a number of reasons for hosting the Games, then the Games may be a justifiable investment in sport participation terms.

From ‘Sport for All’ to Not About ‘Sport’ at All?: Interrogating Sport Policy Interventions in the United Kingdom

Edited by Mick Green (December 2006)

This article provides a critical account of the ways in which the funding for, and political justifications underlying, sport policy in the United Kingdom have shifted from concerns to provide 'Sport for All' opportunities for the generality of the population, and at various times for targeted groups in particular, to a peculiarly sharp twofold focus. Namely: (i) the promotion of the 'active citizen' through social investment strategies that have children and young people as their principal target; and (ii) a 'no compromise' approach to winning (Olympic) medals and trophies on the international stage. In utilizing the theoretical perspectives of 'policy as discourse' and 'storylines', the analysis thus interrogates, and goes some way towards answering, questions raised in the literature regarding the 'demise' of Sport for All related programmes and activities. The conclusions consider some of the potential ramifications of this sharpened twofold policy focus for sport policymakers, management professionals and practitioners alike.