Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012: Legacy - Culture, Media and Sport Committee Contents

Written evidence submitted by the Institute for Sport Parks and Leisure

1.  As a national body representing professionals in the sport and parks sector, the Institute for Sport, Parks and Leisure (ISPAL) has an important role to play in driving forward legacy work from the London 2012 Games.

1.1  ISPAL is an independent membership organisation with charitable status charged with presenting the case to attract high quality professionals into the industry. Further more, ISPAL ensures that the skills and competencies of these professionals working within sport, leisure or parks with sporting/leisure facilities are maintained.

  1.2  Another of our key roles is to further develop these professionals to become the leaders of the future by providing:

    — Opportunities to meet and share good practice at local and national events.

    — Learning and development courses.

    — Information that is relevant to our members.

  1.3  Following a consultation with members, ISPAL is delighted to make a contribution to the DCMS Select Committee's study around legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We can, with speed and depth, reach into the industry. "Policy" groups are in place to respond to studies such as this. Our membership is diverse with representation at all levels—sports development officers, managers to Chief Leisure officers—so we are well positioned to offer commentary and recommendations.


  ISPAL is an advocate of the Games and we believe that the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will be beneficial to the country. The system of measuring this will be a key legacy and must go beyond the obvious tangible legacy of the facilities and the regeneration around East of London. More focus is now needed to ensure that all communities are made to feel part of this. The challenge is demonstrating that any funding diverted from facilities that are geographically away from London, which has not been welcomed at a local level, can be a benefit to everyone.

The key themes centre around:

    1. Communication.

    2. Co-ordinated approach.

    3. Marketing.

    4. Inclusion.

    5. Investment.

  2.1  The greatest legacy would be to witness the adoption of a new, comprehensive approach to change that is sustainable. This will require all agencies to work together. Government should now set this example.

  2.2  In the light of reduced LAs budgets, restricted officers' time and disappearing LA sports development teams, an improvement in government cross-departmental working is highly recommended with an eye on post games strategies. To achieve the increase in participation LAs will be the key to that success. SE, CCPR, CSPs and the YST must also step together.

  2.3  Government can provide an infrastructure for increasing activity but should ensure messages into schools address the need to change behaviour with strong references to the sporting and cultural initiatives launched since securing the Olympic bid.

  2.4  Legacy is this a vain concept? Or should we simply celebrate the Games as a spectacle that showcase sport, provide much needed excitement to our lives and help promote Britain as a world leader in sport? Should we accept this and the associated costs for what they are?


    — More proactive focus to reward behaviour change (regulation and economic incentives have worked in the past). — Improve the communication flow—from LOCOG and the ODA to local communities.

    — Communication flow (of plans to a much wider audience)needs to improve and not be confined to the "inner sanctum".

    — Make more clear statements of what, how and who can get involved Embed this external message in a robust marketing strategy.

    — Improve the Games Legacy profile within the marketing strategy.

    — Ensure any Legacy strategy clearly demonstrates the connection for those NOT living in or near London.

    — Invest more money in delivering the Legacy strategy, with reference to sustainability and retention.

    — Government policies to be more co-ordinated demonstrating cross department working.

    — Ensure that Sports facilities are put to good use for the community and not just for elite activities.

    — Protect the provision of sports services within Local Government to ensure an overall sports legacy in the UK.

    — Invest more in sports coaching sports leadership, clubs and local facilities across the whole of the UK that has a clear link to the Olympic brand.

    — Invest in new technology that would allow coaches and leisure operators to electronically count participation and download onto a central database.


In the current economic climate, and with talk of a decade of austerity, will the operational cost of sports facilities be an area which experiences significant reductions as higher priorities for expenditure demand more of declining budgets?

In the current economic climate, and with talk of a decade of austerity, will the operational cost of sports facilities be an area which experiences significant reductions as higher priorities for expenditure demand more of declining budgets?

  3.1  The Games Strategy makes reference to skill improvement which is one of the primary functions of ISPAL. The institute could provide guaranteed, high quality services to ensure "upskilling" for those involved in the games between 2010 and 2012.


    — ISPAL is placed at the heart of such studies so that the DCMS Select Committee has the opportunity to receive a wider response from the profession. — Dialogue is opened with ISPAL investigating how best to use ISPAL as a resource to assist the legacy.

"Ways of maximising the value of the Olympic Legacy both within the host boroughs, London and across the UK"


  There seems to be a lack of clarity over what is meant by the term "sports legacy". Is it simply an increase in sports participation? Or more than that? Could it also refer to wider and better quality opportunities to take part in sport, with better coaching and leadership, with greater emphasis being placed on the development of talented performers, more spectators attending and major events being attracted to the UK on the back of the Games, an enhanced political awareness of the place of sport in our society and the valuable contribution it makes to the wider agendas of social cohesion, community safety, health and education? Without this clarity, measuring the impact of the London 2012 Games on sport will be impossible.

4.1  The major components of the sports structure in the UK that deal with "delivery" could be said to be:

    — Education.

    — Local government.

    — Governing body/voluntary sector (including governing bodies of sport, clubs, coaches, volunteers and leaders).

    — Private sector services.

  4.2  Any overall "master plan" for sports legacy from the London 2012 Games should be based around recommendations for action within these "sectors". It is the ISPAL view that central government, Non-Departmental Public Bodies and other national and regional agencies should consider how they can best help these sectors to deliver on the ground.

  4.3  ISPAL, working with Kent County Council, has produced a draft Sports Legacy Agenda for Local Government, which has received an initial welcome by sports and leisure professionals and a growing number of national organisations.

  4.4  The document:

    — Provides a menu of options for local government in sport.

    — Effectively defines sports legacy.

    — Enables local authorities to plan.

    — Enables local authorities to recognise their contribution to the UK plc achieving sports legacy from the Games.

  4.5  A combination of documents from those governing bodies of sport and NDPB's who have either produced, or are planning to produce, their own legacy plans, along with bodies such as CCPR and YST should be integrated into the ISPAL/Kent CC. This collaboration could then provide the main body of any master plan that was to be produced.

  4.6  There is evidence of some fantastic work being achieved by both national governing bodies of sport and local authorities. These successes are happening in isolation and there seems to be little evidence of co-ordination and the communication of these successes seems limited.

  4.7  Local Authorities do have an essential role to play if there is to be a lasting benefit across the UK of London playing host to the 2012 Games. They can provide the coordinating service; providing information, networking, enthusing organisations to "get engaged" and providing the structure at the local level that "makes things happen".

  4.8  As a key professional Institute for sport, ISPAL is performing an important role in spreading the message about the benefits of local communities of their local authorities being engaged in work around the London 2012 Games and devoted the first day of the National Sports Development Seminar in Sheffield on 17 November 2009 to this purpose. ISPAL would like to contribute more.

  4.9  However, one of the major challenges to local authorities providing a major function in achieving 2012 sports legacy (and in fact the wider legacy of economic development, increased tourism and cultural benefit) is the financial squeeze being faced by local government. Local government is active in sports facility provision, sports development and playing field provision and maintenance and is the biggest single provider of sports services in the UK. Many sports services in local government will be under pressure for survival and it is the strong view of this Institute that without strong local government sports services, there will be no overall sports legacy in the UK.

  4.10  There is a real fear that the Games might in fact deliver the legacy of more people participating, but that facilities will close, hours reduced and local authority services will disappear leaving our newly inspired customers frustrated with fewer places to take part.

  4.11  The draft London 2012 Games Sports Legacy Agenda for Local Government referred to earlier, provides many inexpensive ideas for local government to get engaged in 2012. Also, it provides local government with a rationale as to why they should be involved with the London 2012 Games.

  4.12  There are five local authorities which have been deemed to be "Beacons" in achieving overall legacy (not just sport) from the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

    — Kent CC;

    — Essex CC;

    — Dorset CC;

    — London Borough of Greenwich; and

    — London Borough of Hackney

  4.13  These Beacons could be used more widely in national legacy planning. Within these authorities, there are many examples of initiatives that are successfully getting people involved in sport and physical activity, widening the opportunities to participate, developing talented performers and attracting major events on the back of the London 2012 Games.


    — Clarify the term "sports legacy".— Ensure that any master plan produced is based on the recommendations of a combination of documents from those governing bodies of sport and NDPB's who have either produced, or are planning to produce, their own legacy plans, integrated into the ISPAL/Kent CC Legacy Document 2012 including YST, and any future publication concerning NGBs.

    — Protect the provision of sports services within Local Government to ensure an overall sports legacy in the UK.

    — Improve the communication strategy so that the successes of the Beacons are more widely celebrated.

"Whether the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will deliver a lasting legacy of social, physical and economic regeneration"


  The Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 will be a tremendous event and a great party. They will be a great spectacle, will showcase Britain's ability to organise and deliver and will inspire many talented youngsters to aim for gold medals in the Games thereafter. There has been genuine and true excitement of sports professionals at the prospect of Great Britain hosting the 2012 games in London.

5.1  It is seen as vital that London does not simply provide a fantastic spectacle but without the legacy. The 2012 Team from Hertfordshire (Herts is Ready for Winners) has already been inspired since visiting the planned Olympic facilities. These games do have the potential to truly inspire all generations, especially children, into changing lifestyles and becoming more active—with a specific emphasis on sports participation. There is continued doubt that a month of activity watched on TV will not have a lasting impact on a predominantly sedentary population to take up active pastimes and to maintain their participation. In the wider context of the legacy for the country, where there will be no bricks and mortar as reference points, increased participation in sport and physical activity has been identified as one benefit. Further benefits are being promoted through the Cultural Olympiad.

5.2  The use of any Olympic-related branding has been almost completely prohibited and therefore trying to inspire the public through local provision has been made that much more difficult. At a grassroots level this has meant an inability to utilize, for instance, the games' logo on any publicity of our programmes. This has meant that it has been very difficult to deliver under the "legacy" banner without any real, core support to do so. Local provision will continue to be on offer that is relevant, affordable and accessible to local residents but without the necessary logos, wording and funding, the public would never know it had an Olympic focus!

  5.3  It is ISPAL's view that success should not be measured by "bricks and mortar" alone but by the legacy of the impact that holding the games has on the activity of the nation and the inspiration to remain active. That being the case, where is the matched investment of grassroot sports? Is it across the whole of the UK or is too much London centric?

  5.4  ISPAL shares the belief of the voluntary sector that sport at grassroots is struggling to see any benefit from London 2012. Very few of them will ever visit the new facilities, and even fewer will use any of them. The voluntary sector sees investment in London as detrimental to their aspirations for more local developments, at a time when in reality costs for volunteers are increasing. There is an opportunity to promote the activities of the voluntary sports sector and to encourage increased membership of clubs and other organisations, but the demands on those individuals who run the organisations are increasing. The opportunity to look at sports development improvements through the training and development of coaches and sports leaders seems to be missing.

  5.5  Further concerns have been expressed about the diversion of monies from the lottery which means that far less has been available to improve changing rooms, provide equipment and train coaches than would otherwise have been the case. This too could be a legacy but not one to celebrate!

  5.6  There is little doubt that the regeneration of the east end of London due to the impact of the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 will be considered to be a great success, and that the facilities and the athletes village will be promoted as a tangible legacy for the area. The longer term operation of the facilities has yet to be clearly determined. Their long term operational arrangements and utilisation needs to be secured in advance of the main event. The use of the demountable facilities and equipment used during the games needs to be determined. Relating to these facilities for those not living close by is an issue. If there had been an investment across the UK of facilities then more people would more clearly have enjoyed a tangible legacy at a local level.

  5.7  If the athletes' village ultimately provides housing for local people, or brings new people to the area, then there will be a contribution to the regeneration of the area. Clearly there will be an infrastructure to support the Games and this will continue to be available post-2012, but will all of the other services that communities need be in place? Has this cost been identified? In the current economic climate, and with talk of a decade of austerity, will the operational cost of sports facilities be an area which experiences significant reductions as higher priorities for expenditure demand more of declining budgets?

  5.8  Despite the existence of both regional and sub-regional plans, the engagement of key individuals is "hit and miss". There is also a piecemeal approach to engagement with London 2012. A menu of opportunities for involvement and engagement has not been clearly articulated. Individuals appear to learn of things more by chance than pre-determination, eg the Community Games element of the Cultural Olympiad. They have been trumpeted as a real means of involvement for some time now, and locally there has been interest in staging events.

  5.9  However the promised "tool kit" and opportunities to bid for resources have yet to be made available and this is a cause of tensions between potential organisers of events and officers who have endeavoured to communicate the information.

  5.10  Using the 2010 Winter Olympic model it should be noted that 70% of the economic benefit will be from sports tourism and sports tourism needs to develop this unique opportunity. Eg Wales has enjoyed the emergence of better relationships (with YST, WAG and central government) following the UK School Games and the number of trained volunteers has increased as the legacy to that event.


    — Reassess and clearly articulate the long term operational arrangements for the sporting facilities being developed for the Games especially in the light of the current economic climate. — Identify post-2010 costs associated with the provision for community services around the Olympic facilities.

    — More marketing of the successes of the Cultural Olympiad.

    — Identify ways to reduce bureaucracy for the clubs and their officials at grassroots in order for them to deliver a lasting legacy.

    — Identify local funding for sports development improvements for the training and development of coaches and sports leaders.

    — Invest locally in a national network of legacy facilities.

    — Improve the external communication of LOCOG and the ODA with other agencies.

    — Improve the communication channels of what is on offer.

    — Deliver on promises of resources—clarity is needed on who is responsible.

    — Converge the funding cycles of NGBs, CSPs, SSPs and LAs at the next spending review to ensure same time scales and co-ordinated planning.

    — Sports tourism to develop a strategy to maximise the Olympic opportunity.

"Progress towards meeting targets to increase grassroots participation in Sport"


  It is the view of ISPAL that continually reviewing and changing the infrastructure of sport and its delivery has had a negative and detrimental effect on progress towards meeting targets for increased participation. Finland and Canada have adopted a 30 year strategy for sporting participation and witnessing a steady rise in those engaging in sport. Could this be a better strategy?

6.1  Currently it is the role of National Governing Bodies of Sport via their volunteers in community clubs to delivery an increase in participation. Their ability and capacity to do so is in question and yet they have the responsibility for delivering this legacy. If the communication of the funding implications of Whole Sport Plans has not reached grassroots within each of the funded sports (and some sports do not have local officers), how successful can those sports be in meeting the increases under discussion? Funding has been siphoned away towards elite performance with less available for clubs (volunteers) at local level. Combine this with the pressure on local government budgets, members and senior management (of district councils) time restraints and priorities, reduced sports development personnel and the future could be bleak.

6.2  It is ISPALs view that the DoH could take a stronger lead in Change4Life programmes, influence the value of the Free Swimming initiative and work more strategically with other government offices and agencies so that these successful programmes are part of not only the pre-game legacy but also the post-game legacy.

  6.3  It is accepted that holding the games will stimulate interest in sport. The legacy will be the post game participation programme, with retention as a key element.


    — Put in place and maintain a longer term structure and funding for sports delivery. — Consistently improve the support of sport at a local level (Olympics or no Olympic legacy).

    — Develop a post games participation strategy with a strong retention strand.

    — Increase funding for community clubs and local programmes to maximise sporting and cultural opportunities.

    — Establish a forum for legacy discussion to have a national perspective (not just around the Olympic Park).

    — Develop a more flexible approach in the use of the Olympic logo so that programmes and events have a clear connection.

    — Develop an inspirational Olympic marketing CD for every school.

January 2010

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