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Sports And Leisure Events: A Review Of Key Impacts And Current Trends

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When an event occurs there are many consequences that impact both positively and negatively. Within this essay, there will be a review of impacts from sports events as well as current trends and different characteristics. The events that will be explored include Wimbledon, a professional tennis tournament, the London 2012 Olympics, where different countries compete within specific sporting events to rank for bronze, silver and gold and the Tour de France which is a 23 day cycling race that deciphers cyclists ability to cycle long distances and to achieve the title of yellow jersey. Also including The Southend RNLI Boxing Day Dip which is a fundraiser for the RNLI.These events are connected through sporting skills and sporting abilities but have different structures keeping them as individual events.

The characteristics a sports and leisure event possesses from [Bowdins 2012] point of view included the participant's. If there was no participant's, attendees would not come to the event as they have come to see something such as a show, activity or competition. As participant's make up the whole event it is crucial they are included, thus coming to see an event makes the attendee a participant just as much as the people performing. Participating in ‘The Southend RNLI Boxing Day Dip’ is different from going to the Tour de France as all participants would be doing the activity instead of the main athlete's who the participant's want to see. [Bladen et al 2017] views participants as one of the key characteristics for an event from the competitors to the media. Without participant's, an event of a mega-scale such as the 2012 London Olympics or even the Tour de France would be improbable. Having participant's engage with all elements of the event helps the event to grow, evident through the Tour de France which first occurred in 1903 with only 60 cyclists, compared to 2019 when there were approximately 200 cyclists [BBC Newsround 2019] as a result of media, spectators and sponsors.

However, an important characteristic is ‘Sports event format’ [Bladen et al 2017] which is used for marketing the event as when people plan to attend the event, the timescale is needed to make arrangements such as travel to-and-from the event, as well as a place to stay if travelling a long distance. For example, If an attendee is visiting solely for Wimbledon 2019, their stay may be shorter compared to a person visiting multiple events at the 2012 London Olympics. Therefore, highlighting the importance of making the sports event format clear to the consumer purchasing tickets to see these events.

Another characteristic of both a sports and leisure event is the venue [Bladen et al 2017] and if an event is occurring it has to have a location. Moreover, having a venue means a place for all of the participant's to go for that particular event. However, the venue of any event does not have to be in a typical building, the event may be hosted in several locations such as large national parks or even by the seafront. Furthermore, having many different venues allows the organisers of the event to branch out further and appeal to a wider target market of attendees. ‘The Southend RNLI Boxing Day Dip’ [RNLI 2019] is a sports event on a seafront which appeals to many people as it raises money for a deserving charity. It is a popular event because it combines sports with leisure in an easily accessible venue. Therefore, by utilising a unique venue, it makes an event more appealing due to increased charisma whilst also being a unique experience for people. Events such as the London 2012 Olympics had a purpose built venue as London was not built for the mega event. The games used a brownfield site in Stratford London and hoped that the London 2012 Olympics would rejuvenate and bring life to the run down area. Having built “the Village”, which was an accommodation provided for the athlete's, this space is now used as apartments/ housing for local residents of the area. The Orbit Tower was built as part of the venue for the Olympics as a sculpture to remember the Olympics. Thus, this part of the venue was to keep the legacy of the London Olympics alive and is now used as an attraction, making the sculpture sustainable. Additionally, an event such as Wimbledon 2019 is known for the location, with the event name being synonymous with the location. Most people know of Wimbledon from the tennis tournaments instead of anything else. On the other hand, the Olympics are known to move country every time they are held in which various cities bid for the Games as they are aware of the economic benefit and hope to bring this to their nation.

According to [Getz 1949], some positive impacts that the London 2012 Olympics have left on society include ‘providing low-cost housing in refurbished athlete villages, engaging children and people with special needs in activities and causes, raising money for charities, or providing inspiration and hope for the downtrodden.’ As well as questioning the social impacts, being aware that not all consequences of mega events are positive as [Getz 1949] states ‘are poor people displaced and the homeless rounded up because image is all? Is spectacle and world-class entertainment good for people, or a way to keep them passive?’. This enables the understanding that out of multiple impacts they can be both positive as well as negative. During the tournaments at Wimbledon 2019, a positive impact the games had was it brought the local community together and has a more positive atmosphere compared to winter seasons, not just at the venue but other areas within Wimbledon.

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A positive economic impact that [Li and Jago, 2019] has observed is that ‘major sports events can generate in attracting visitors and event-related construction investment’ meaning that not only the event owners make a profit but the local community. The local community can benefit as there is a greater need for employment to do with sports events. In breaks or gaps between performances, audiences tend to purchase beverages and snacks. There is a need for people in the local community to fill these roles to give the attendees what they desire so the event can run smoothly. However, having provided certain snacks for the event which appeal to a large crowd of people worldwide such as at the 2012 London Olympics means the location of the event loses authenticity. Furthermore, as prices are inflated food and other amenities lose local charm. This was in hopes of pleasing attendees so they feel accommodated and welcomed. Meaning that people would want to return for another event; not necessarily the charm of the local town. Another impact from an event is profit. Events are primarily used to make a profit for businesses and the event owner but it is also used for fundraising. ‘The Southend RNLI Boxing Day Dip’ [RNLI 2019] is a sporting event to help fundraise for the RNLI for future use of the service. Moreover, other events also act as fundraisers for deserving charities for different purposes.

Environmental impacts can have a positive impact or a negative impact. An event such as the ‘Tour de France 2019’ has less negative impacts compared to an event of a larger scale such as the 2012 London Olympics. Having a smaller audience for these types of events means environmental impacts are easier to control. Although, a simple task such as recycling at the ‘Tour de France 2019’, a high profile event, has multiple schemes in place to help clean up litter during the competition. Additionally, if not all litter is disposed of correctly then people in the local community have the chance to gain employment, so all litter is eventually disposed of in the right manner. However, the 2012 London Olympics was on a much larger scale so was not able to have the same level of care for litter management. Another positive environmental impact is exemplified from Wimbledon 2019 where the use of cups for ‘strawberries and cream’ which were ‘made from 70% recycled plastic’ [Siddique, 2019] had a positive impact as it is a very famous snack, for it to be developed enough to use sustainable crockery.

A key trend that should be carefully considered about an event is sustainability, with awareness of this trend gaining prominence because of climate change. Having sustainable components of major or mega-events is highly important in helping to reduce single-use plastic wastage and light, noise and water pollution. Wimbledon 2019 reduces plastic due to not using plastic racket covers meaning ‘there will be 4,500 fewer plastic bags used’ whilst also using ‘environmentally friendly’ clothing [Siddique, 2019]. The 2012 London Olympics was also ‘the first Olympic Games to measure its carbon footprint’ [International Olympic committee 2020]as they wanted to achieve ‘zero waste’ [International Olympic committee 2020] and hit that target. The Tour de France 2019 also supported the trend of sustainability by ‘encouraging responsible buying’ [around Sustainable Development, 2019]. This aim helps reduce the wastage that could be easily avoidable if the customer really considers all aspects of the product they wish to purchase, from reusable elements to disposable parts of the product. By doing this, the ‘Tour de France 2019’ reduced significant one-time-use plastic. An event such as ‘The Southend RNLI Boxing Day Dip’ [RNLI 2019] does not put as much strain on disposable resources as most people attend to brave the cold water which does not need to use single use materials, helping with the trend of sustainability to continue to make a stronger mark to help the environment.

Another trend that sports events now follow is to leave a legacy. Leaving a legacy means that events can be repeated as people will still care for them. The Ancient Greek Olympic games left a legacy that has continued from 1894 when the idea was first presented and then conducted in 1896 carried on to this day showing how important a legacy can be. Hence why this current trend is an aim for all current events, having people talk about the event is another way to publicise it, as well as keeping the legacy alive. After hosting an event alliances are formed from a ‘shared experience’ [Bowdin 2012] which is a positive impact as it brings people closer together. This would be either working at the event together or attending the event. Despite the fact that a mega-event definitely brings people together it can lead to bad behaviour from different reactions from one outcome of the event, or from consuming too much alcohol at the event venue leading to rowdy behaviour and a strain on the emergency services. People have a desire to go to sporting events such as Wimbledon 2019 because of the reputation the legacy has left behind. Additionally, Wimbledon is seen as one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. Thus, showing the aspirations to visit the event and to be able to say that the participant was involved with this event.

To conclude, all sports events have impacts, including those which benefit the environment down to consequences that disrupt the community. These events do benefit the nation [where taking place] which is why the public like to have them repeated in the same location or others. Sports events have impacts on the community, society and the economy, there are many impacts some may change the city in a negative way or could improve the city. Characteristics make up the event which is why it is majorly important to have participant's, sports event format and a venue to keep the structure of the event in order. Different trends in sporting events include sustainability enabling participants to understand the need for resources that do not run out.

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Sports And Leisure Events: A Review Of Key Impacts And Current Trends. (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 6, 2023, from
“Sports And Leisure Events: A Review Of Key Impacts And Current Trends.” Edubirdie, 24 Feb. 2022,
Sports And Leisure Events: A Review Of Key Impacts And Current Trends. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2023].
Sports And Leisure Events: A Review Of Key Impacts And Current Trends [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 24 [cited 2023 Dec 6]. Available from:
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