Sport events and social legacies

02 Aug 2017

Sport events are used more and more in both developing and developed contexts to promote development (especially economic growth), enhance social cohesion and healthy lifestyles and profile locations as tourist destinations. Associated with an increased number of sport events and academic interest is greater focus on legacies, that is, what are the likely impacts (both positive and negative) of sport events. There are a range of legacies associated with sport events that include economic, social, political, tourism, infrastructural and sport impacts. There is a tendency to focus on the economic and infrastructural impacts and social legacies are often neglected. This is particularly the case the bigger the sport events. Furthermore, there is increased debate in the literature about what constitutes a sport event legacy and how can they be encouraged and assessed. In terms of the latter, the importance of undertaking research on legacy impacts is highlighted and methodological approaches are debated. This article draws on the growing body of literature on sport events and legacies to examine social aspects, an under-researched component of legacy research, in relation to key debates and issues as well as methodological aspects. Given the recent successful hosting of Africa?s first mega-event, the 2010 F?d?ration of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, the article reflects on the social legacies associated with this event.