Friday, 31st August 2012
On your marks... formulating sports policy and Britain's Olympic legacy
Source: History & Policy (UK)
From Executive Summary:
A comparison between London's 1948 'austerity Olympics' and the massive public investment in the 2012 Games, illustrates how sport and politics have converged since the Second World War, and prompts questions about how far an Olympic 'legacy' can be secured for British sport.
Assisting Olympic athletes, improving local recreational facilities and increasing participation rates have been widely accepted as legitimate objectives since the 1960s, but there has not always been consensus about the role of central government in achieving them. Sport policy has often been hamstrung by funding constraints, shallow levels of political support and an unstable policy-making environment. These problems persist today.
A key factor has been the influence of Prime Ministers' personal interest, or lack of it, in sport and its electoral resonance, with Harold Wilson pioneering government sport policy in the 1960s and Margaret Thatcher exemplifying the hands-off approach in the '80s. After 1997 the Labour government successfully built on foundations laid by John Major's administration, developing a coherent, wide-ranging strategy, investing heavily at all levels of sporting provision.
So far in the life of the 2010 parliament, sport policy has once again been disjointed. The Coalition government protected Labour's budget for the Olympics, but has been criticised for backtracking on school and community sport, and for failing to regard sport as a tool for addressing wider health and social policy ambitions.
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By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
Adrian can be reached at email@example.com
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