The role of voluntary sport organisations in leveraging the London 2012 sport participation legacy

This study aimed to understand the perceptions of national Voluntary Sport Organisations (VSOs) managers towards a mega sports event and identify the components they felt enhanced or inhibited their organisations capacity to implement a sport participation legacy. London 2012 was the first Olympic Games to explicitly attempt to deliver this type of legacy, and an exploratory, online mixed method survey examined the perceptions of 105 senior managers from 37 VSOs, post-event. Principal Component Analysis identified four distinct factors: ‘objectives, standards & resources’, ‘event capitalisation & opportunities’, ‘monitoring & evaluation’ and ‘club engagement & implementation’, explaining 51.5% of variance. Also, relevant organisational characteristics such as sport type, funding and sport size were examined to investigate the influence this had on their capacity. From these findings, the main recommendations are that future mega sport event hosts should: 1) Engage and consult with multiple stakeholders to engender sustained sport participation. 2) Set clear and monitorable objectives. 3) Establish funding and support mechanisms relevant to each sport. 4) Engage non-competing sports in the leveraging process. 5) Finally, event organisers should try to ensure personnel consistency.