Assessing the role of the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the provision and management of grassroots sport for disabled adults
Pappous, Athanasios (Sakis)
Legacies from hosting the Paralympic Games is an under-developed area. In a thematic analysis of Paralympic legacies, Misener et al. (2013) discovered few empirically researched studies focusing on legacies from the hosting of Paralympic Games. Of the forty-three sources of evidence included in their review, only eleven were identified as being of an empirical nature, with most focusing on the Sydney 2000 Paralympics and its tangible legacies. In addition, Mahtani et al. (2013)were unable to find any evidence for the Summer Paralympic Games and sport participation legacies. One of the legacy aims of the London 2012 Paralympic Games was to support disabled adults to participate in sport and physical activity (Office for Disability Issues 2011). The 2012 Paralympics was undoubtedly a success as a sporting event, but, as we approach the Rio 2016 Paralympics, what reflections can be made regarding the 2012 Paralympics grassroots sport participation legacy for disabled adults in England? How successful has the Paralympics been in providing opportunities to participate in sport, four years on from the Games? To aid our understanding of this under-researched area and of the grassroots sport participation legacy from London 2012, this researchaims to answer the following question:How has the grassroots sport participation legacy of the 2012 Paralympic Games been managed? The data presented in this study represents preliminary findings and is sub-set of a wider study and PhD. The views of senior managers from NDSOs, regarding the impact and management of the grassroots sport participation legacy for disabled adults in England,will be the focus of this study. Supplementing the views of the NDSOs, this study will also report on secondary quantitative data which enhances our understanding of the impact of the 2012 Paralympic Games on the grassroots sport participation of disabled adults in England. Two national sport organisations and five of the eight NDSOs have so far been interviewed and will be the source of the qualitative data for this research. Preliminary results suggest the level of demand for sport after the Paralympics was greater than anticipated, with sport providers not being able to respond efficiently to the demand. There was also a lack of leveraging, issues with funding, and difficulties engaging with National Governing Bodies (NGBs). This study is still on-going and, when finalised, will also include the views of selected NGBs, County Sport Partnerships, and national sport organisations. The results of this study will represent the views of different stakeholder organisations involved in the delivery and management of grassroots disability sport in England, building our understanding of the 2012 Paralympic grassroots sport participation legacy for disabled adults.