Building on SIRC's work examining the economic impact of major events and broadening the event impact methodology, UK Sport commissioned some work to gauge whether spectators attending major events were inspired to undertake more sport and physical activity as a result of their attendance.
Spectators (aged 16 and over) were interviewed across nine sports events held in England between 2010 and 2012, to establish the extent to which they were inspired by their event experience to undertake more sport themselves. These included: two team events; a mass participation event; an age group event; and, five other individual events of international sporting significance. Follow-up surveys some 6-12 months post event then assessed whether or not the same people had made any changes to their behaviour as a result of their attendance at a particular event.
Overall more than half of the spectators who were interviewed at an event reported being inspired to increase their frequency of sport participation. Furthermore, a minority of attendees also increased their participation immediately following the event(s) and had maintained this increase at the time of the follow-up survey. However, given the plethora of such events that audiences may consume on a regular basis, it can be problematic to attribute causality to a single event, and further investigation is on-going.
June 2010 - Dec 2012