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Leveraging sport events for sustainable sport participation: how schools contribute to sport development through events

Aizawa, K and Orr, M and Inoue, Y and Nagazumi, J and Yoshida, M (2021) Leveraging sport events for sustainable sport participation: how schools contribute to sport development through events. European Sport Management Quarterly. ISSN 1618-4742

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Abstract

Research question: Schools are recognized as a stakeholder in sport events; however, how their involvement can contribute to the leveraging processes remains unclear. This study explores the role of local schools in leveraging sport events for lifelong sport participation. Research methods: The National Sports Festival of Japan was examined using a multiple case study approach. Six host cities were purposively selected, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with policy-makers and sport governing body representatives of these cities (N = 11). Results and findings: Nine categories related to schools’ involvement in the event leveraging process were identified. These nine categories were further classified into four themes: (1) need for actions by or through schools, (2) presence of central actors, (3) intermediate outcomes for future promotional activities, and (4) supplemental conditions to amplify effects. Moreover, these themes and categories formed a framework illustrating a positive sustainable circular system that bolsters the event's impacts on sport participation in the host city. Implications: Our findings contribute to the literature on sport event leveraging and sport development by showing the key administrative role of schools in increasing sport participation through the leveraging of events. For event organizers, this study highlights the importance of developing a continuous partnership with schools to implement the long-term policy for sport event's impact.

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