Written evidence from Business In Sport and Leisure Limited (OLL 12)
represents the private sector in
submission to the Committee follows the announced Terms of reference for the Inquiry by the
2. OVERALL SUMMARY BISL appreciates the opportunity to give this evidence. We welcome the Committee's inquiry, given the widespread doubts in our industry about a beneficial 2012 legacy - and we hope it is not too late. Our submission concerns sporting legacy, both "soft" and "hard", but not social or economic legacy. We include here specific advice on soft legacy in particular.
· Between now and 2012, and in the vital legacy years beyond the Games, everyone is clear that the public purse will not ride to the rescue. Achieving a decent Games legacy - one that justifies the huge national investment and effort in staging the Olympic Games in London, and which satisfies the ambitions and aims stated by the London team when they won in Singapore - demands therefore private and voluntary effort on a large scale. But, BISL and many private companies/organisations are frustrated by the difficulty in getting involved and making a contribution.
· LOCOG, ODA and BOA are concentrating effort, for understandable reasons, upon running a successful event in 2012. The tangible steps taken on the vital soft legacy so far are by Sport England, in its participation strategy, by the Change4Life campaign and the Free Swimming programme - each with strong Government support and funding.
· Legacy can be seen as a jigsaw, ie a number of
interconnecting pieces to make up a big, clear picture. All the pieces are not
yet assembled and no one is putting them together. We require coordinated and
effective action by all three sectors, public, private and voluntary. To use
another metaphor - the 2012 legacy machine has no clear driver and is not
firing on all cylinders. Time may be running out to achieve the laudable aims
set when the
3. Whether the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will deliver a lasting legacy of social, physical and economic regeneration. The Committee is enquiring into a controversial topic. With 2012 getting closer, there are widespread and severe doubts about the legacy now likely to be achieved; though there is considerable confidence in the delivery of a successful Games event, which clearly is the driving priority for LOCOG, ODA and BOA.
4. The Committee will distinguish between types of
legacy, as we do in this submission;- sporting
legacy, in terms of getting more people participating in sport more often -
the so called "soft legacy"; "hard
legacy" - what we assume the Committee means by "physical legacy" in its
terms of reference, ie new facilities for sport and the community, from the 2012
- we make no comment on this; economic
legacy - again, we make no comment in this submission. But, we consider that action that achieves real soft and hard legacy
will deliver very real social and economic benefits to the
5. BISL perceives three clear facts around the sporting and soft legacy debate;-
a) no previous Olympic Games has delivered a sporting or soft legacy, in terms of more people doing more sport as a result of hosting the Games;
b) in winning the Games in Singapore, the London team committed themselves memorably to delivering, for the first time in Olympic history, a genuine soft legacy; but, no clear targets were set, and......
c) No body or organisation has ever assumed responsibility for this task.
at this stage, BISL only sees Sport England (with Government and lottery
funding) attempting to drive up participation and thus helping to achieve the
7. Up till now, we have been frustrated in our attempts to play a supporting role toward national soft legacy aims. Our members report similar frustration among many local authorities across the country. In London, City Hall and the Host Boroughs have taken significant steps in planning and starting to initiate sustainable soft legacy developments; but there is little evidence of this across the UK as a whole (and indeed BISL member companies report frequently that outside of the South East, legacy and the 2012 Games are considered irrelevant and unimportant); and until such leadership and co ordination is in place it seems unlikely that anything but a very short term sporting legacy (e.g. like the annual "Wimbledon effect" on tennis) will be delivered. There have been and are some good initiatives, by central and local Government and sport Governing Bodies but there is no co-ordination, and no central drive, around a simple coherent theme with appropriate marketing, supported by action programmes on the ground.
believes there remains an important opportunity to build upon the impact so far
of Change4Life, Free Swimming and the Sport
9. Ways of maximizing the value of the Olympic
legacy both within the host boroughs,
10. It still isn't easy to secure a private sector
input. BISL has pressed the LDA and now the ODA since autumn 2007 for more
discussion of the use and effective management (in transition and legacy modes)
of the new sports facilities within the Olympic Park. So far, all emphasis appears
to be on the IOC and International Federation requirements. But many sports are unable to deliver
an economically viable legacy programme in these facilities in isolation - while
the proposed 2012 facilities do still offer significant opportunity for wider
community and multi sport use. So, we retain concerns about the management of
Olympic facilities post 2012 - while welcoming the establishment
of the Olympic Park Legacy Company and also the significant steps taken by the
new City Hall administration - and see an urgent need to appoint experienced operators
for the 2012 sports facilities in order that future use can be built into the
final legacy designs. Some ask, is the "new Wembley" story being replayed on a different basis, this time with athletics as the
unsustainable centrepiece beyond the Games? The Eastlands solution in
towards meeting targets to increase grass roots participation in sport. A central plank of BISL's strategy in the last ten
years has been "Growing the Market" by increasing sports participation alongside
more facility provision. We regarded the Singapore success as both a major
achievement, on the world stage, and a once in a lifetime opportunity to build
the base of sporting participation and facilities in the UK - with lasting
health, economic, sporting and community benefits, just as the London team so
eloquently expressed in Singapore. The London 2012 Games can still provide the
opportunity and catalyst for growing grass roots participation (although this
global event, even with the excitement of hosting elite sportspeople in top
class competition, will not by itself inspire
increase in grassroots participation). But, as already noted, there is widespread
frustration at the lack of national and coordinated drive so far. We need a more
pro active approach - coordinated with providers from all sectors - to get the
2012 Games playing a key part in national efforts on obesity levels, falls in
participation at age 16+ , healthy living standards, etc. The
12. BISL offers these specific comments on meeting participation targets;-
is necessary - involving all sectors. We shall not grow
· Awareness of the benefits of taking part in sport and physical activity is not in itself sufficient motivation. Everyone, especially the young, has a range of potential leisure pursuits; changing behaviour remains a key marketing challenge. Change4Life may be an important first step; but further and more marketing effort is needed, if legacy aims are to be achieved. Commercial sport/leisure has experience and expertise in marketing (and the essential customer service approach) - and the capacity to help young people move towards the Government's 5 hour offer and to embed an active lifestyle by 16+. Can we for allocate some PE/School Sport investment into developing easier access to facilities/opportunities by young people in Year 11?
· High quality information/PR on local opportunities can provide a part of the catalyst to activity. Free swimming has been well publicised and encouraged many to swim. Culture change is vital, in some sports in particular, because now people look for good customer service. Swimming sets good examples;
· Major sporting
events provoke spikes in participation. The "
· Both assessment of local need and a review of the use and capacity of all current stock (including not only community and local authority facilities, but also those of the educational, private and voluntary sectors) must be part of a local authority's strategic plan under PPG17 (currently under review);
expenditure restraints, and economic forecasts, significant new publicly funded
community sports facility provision is unlikely in the next 2 - 4 years. Yet
securing soft legacy, across the
· Innovative use of any open space (e.g. the success of estate-based work, the countryside, waterways, green space and parkland) can play a key role in providing places to get active and "play" sport. The challenge is to make these informal environments safe and to develop strategies to encourage and manage such spaces;
· Employers are already making flexible working a reality - and this is important in allowing employees time to build activity into their lives. Legacy with an Olympic brand can stimulate more employer engagement.
13. The aim of leaving a lasting legacy that
improves cultural life. BISL believes that the
legacy opportunity was the key element that won hearts and minds to the
As an example, to secure this coordinated
drive for 2012 legacy BISL recommends, could a special group be set up quickly,
with the right remit and powers? - a project group of 12 or so people, to
deliver recommendations by a set date; to be succeeded by a delivery group, to
have systems/structure in place by early 2012. The members of such a group
might come from or "represent" organisations handpicked for their suitability,
15. How success in delivering lasting legacy can be measured. BISL suggests the following answers;- a) more and better facilities - in the right places. Great strides have been made in the past decade to create for the first time an audit of indoor and outdoor sports facilities - a key contributor to soft legacy. This "Active Places" was developed by the Leisure Database Company with support from DCMS and Sport England. The number, type and age of sports facilities is now available to the general public, sports clubs and bodies via Sport England's Active Places website. It can now be used to create complex models, whether of mass participation events or the behaviour of individuals, so latent demand can be anticipated across individual sports, matched against existing capacity (and where actual participation numbers can be counted).
b) More people participating in sport & leisure, more often. The fitness industry has already taken advantage of an existing supply demand model to monitor and estimate participation. Fitness participation rates have doubled to 12% of the population. Some participation data is collected and freely available but not collated or analysed. We see importance in Sport England's Active People Survey, with some reservations about how this can measure activity changes in some sports and we support Sport England's efforts to secure corroborative data to enhance the Active People findings.
c) Satisfaction surveys. Such surveys can tell us how effective programmes are and enable policy and programme makers to adapt where appropriate, because motivation will ever be vital to securing long term behavioural change.
16. Business In Sport and Leisure (BISL) is an umbrella organisation for over 80 companies/organisations in the private sector sport and leisure industry. Members of BISL listed on the London Stock Exchange and in private equity ownership have a combined market capitalisation in excess of £30bn. The membership includes commercial contractors (e.g. operating local government public sport and leisure facilities), private health club operators, major sports governing bodies (including British Swimming, the Lawn Tennis Association, the Rugby Football Union), key consultancies (e.g. Deloittes, Price Waterhouse Cooper, PMP, Capita), legal and accounting companies and academic institutions.