It has been five years this month since the iconic London Olympic Games. Five years since the breathtaking opening ceremony featuring the Queen and Mr Bean. Five years since Sir Chris Hoy claimed his sixth Olympic gold medal. And five years since that ‘Super Saturday’, with six Team GB gold medals – three of which came within an hour at the evening athletics session.
The 2012 the games in London were built around creating a legacy to inspire the nation and overall increase participation within sport. So, after the most successful medal tally from Team GB (later surpassed in Rio 2016), has the legacy actually helped more people participate and get active?
Unfortunately, there has been little increase in overall participation, according to the BBC and Sport England.
Despite a £1 billion investment into grassroots sport, the participation levels of those surveyed has appeared to stay around the same level. This can be seen in the graph below.
Due to the record breaking performance of Team GB, it was hoped there would be a dramatic spike in participation after 2012. However, the graph shows that figures from all age groups stayed as they were before and have failed to increase since.
There figures however only concern those ages 14 and above. So, is the story any different for the younger generation?
The study looked at participation levels of age groups 5-10 years old and 11-15 years old and if the Olympics had a positive effect on them wanting to get active. While younger children’s participation levels are higher than those older than 15, there has still been little to no increase in levels since 2012 (as seen below).
According to the survey, around 70% of those between 5-10 said “not at all” in response to a question on whether they were encouraged to take part in sport since hosting the Olympics. However, 57% of those aged 11-15 said they had been encouraged from the 2012 Games.
It should also be noted that these figures represent participation in sport for at least 30 minutes a week. While it is positive that high percentages are shown from 11-15-year olds, it is still worrying that this amount of time participating is not higher, as the recommended amount of physical activity per week is far greater than just 30 minutes.
The Bugs Group are seeking to get as many children possible across the country active and participating in sport. Through working within schools and nurseries, running community classes and also holiday camps, we introduce children to sport and physical activity and give them positive experiences through engaging them with sport in a fun way.
Through FootieBugs, YogaBugs, DanceBugs and MultiBugs we offer a wide variety of activities that are taught through the use of imagination and storytelling around different themes. Children will go on jungle adventures through yoga, supercar adventures with footballs and explore creative movements through dance!
We have recently teamed up with BBC Get Inspired to try and encourage as many people as possible to start participating in sport and remain physically active and healthy. View our activities on the Get Inspired website here.