Journal article

Event satisfaction and behavioural intentions: examining the impact of the London 2012 Olympic Games on participation in sport

Tourism Sport Community participation Olympic Games Sports participation United Kingdom

Research question: Does event satisfaction influence future intentions to attend events and participate in sport? The research addressed this question by focussing on participation in swimming and the influence of watching the London 2012 Olympic Games; an event which sought to create a legacy of mass sport participation.

Research methods: Surveys were conducted at the Olympic Aquatics Centre (n = 185) and at a Leisure Centre in Plymouth in south-west England (n = 135) making it possible to test for differences between people who experienced the London Olympic Games as a live event and those who watched the event on television. Exploratory factor analysis and partial least squares structural equation modelling were used to analyse the data.

Results and findings: Although there was a positive relationship between event satisfaction and intention to watch swimming events in the future (as a spectator and on television), this was not true for event satisfaction and intention to participate in swimming.

Implications: The findings are consistent with previous studies which suggest that mega-events are unlikely to create sport participation legacies. However, longitudinal studies are needed to test for behavioural changes and to identify the significance of factors associated with access to sport facilities.

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