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New report from Theos/Sports Think Tank questions role of sport

By Pete Hayman    25 Jun 2012

A new report from Theos and the Sports Think Tank has called for sport to be promoted for its fun value, rather than its ability to deliver political, social and economic benefits.

Give us our Ball Back: Reclaiming Sport for the Common Good has assessed the claims made on behalf of sport, which it believes is "being set up to over-promise and under-deliver".

The study - published ahead of the London 2012 Games - also said there is no evidence that large sports events deliver participation and economic benefits that many anticipate.

According to the report, "Releasing sport from the demands of public utility will allow it to occupy its rightful place in society.

"We need to be able to value sport for itself - for its intrinsic goods - namely fun or, if you prefer, wellbeing. It is by recognising this that we will reclaim sport for the common good."

However, the publication of the report comes days after Sport England reported a "surge" in participation ahead of the 2012 Games, with 15.28 million taking part on a regular basis.

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said: "As we approach the Games, some of our key sports such as cycling and hockey are already beginning to feel the Olympic effect."

Details: www.theosthinktank.co.uk (.pdf)

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