Memorandum submitted by the Sports Council
for Northern Ireland
Thank you for your letter regarding the Culture,
Media and Sport Committee's proposed inquiry into the Staging
of International Sporting Events.
You asked for information on the impact of the
World Cross Country Championships held in Belfast in 1999, including
measurable sporting and economic benefits.
The organisers of the event, including the Sports
Council commissioned an impact assessment of the event. The main
conclusions on the economic and sporting benefits accruing from
the event are:
the event cost the World Cross Country
Championship (NI) Ltd £661,000 to stage. In return for this
financial investment the event stimulated;
£1.76 million of direct expenditure;
£1.27 million of net new expenditure
in Northern Ireland (allowing for displacement); and
£2.28 million total expenditure
when account is taken of indirect and induced impacts.
In addition to these economic benefits there
were also a number of less quantifiable benefits:
4,000 young people from 100 primary
schools took part in six cross country events in the lead up to
the main event;
200 pupils from schools took part
in the opening ceremony; and
events were oriented towards young
people who were not already involved in athletics thus enabling
young people to try out the sport, make them aware of the sport
at international level, and encourage some to take up the sport.
Future research would be necessary in order to gauge the number
of new-comers into the sport.
In addition to these economic and sports benefits
the Championships were televised in 75 different countries to
a potential audience of 32.8 million people and showing Belfast
as a genuine destination for tourists. Undoubtedly this is likely
to have some longer term benefits for the tourist industry.
I trust this information will be of some value
to the Committee in their forthcoming inquiry.