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MASS PARTICIPATION


Many events "re-package" traditional forms of exercise – such as the large- scale open air swimming competitions


One of the common themes of mass participation sport is that it allows an alternative experience of a location, or access in an area which is usually forbidden.


mass running, which is pushing up the fig- ures. In contrast, many team sports which are organised by the national governing bodies are declining in popularity. According to Steve Wood, an


independent coach who specialises in behavioural change, mass participation sports suit our lifestyle. “People don’t want to participate in structured, organised club activities any more," he says. "They don’t have the time. They want to be self determined. Mass participation sport is so successful because it gives people a goal to aim for – they go, do it and come away. Lots of sports are too exclusive because there’s only a limited number of places on the team, whereas mass participation sports are democratic, often catering to


48


those with disabilities as well.” One of the sports to have benefitted


most from the London 2012 Olympics has been cycling. Immediately after the Games, 52 per cent of survey respondents indicated they were more motivated to cycle as a result of Team GB’s achievements. British Cycling has doubled its membership in the past five years alone to 50,000, while weekend cycling races have increased by 900 per cent since 2002 to more than 300 a year. Another event, the Great Swim, was


inspired by Team GB’s Beijing Olympic success in open water swimming. Launched in 2008, it now runs annually in five UK locations: Windermere, Suffolk’s Alton Water reservoir, Salford Quays,


Sports Management Handbook 2014-2015


Loch Lomond and Canary Wharf, London. The Great North Swim in Windermere is the flagship event and 10,000 people take part over a number of distances: from half mile races to 5k runs. “We’ve seen an increase in the number


of people wanting to try new and exciting sporting activities, who may be daunted by the prospect of a run, but they know if they can manage 65 lengths of a pool they can complete a one mile swim and have a great time doing it,” says Great Swim spokesperson, Philippa Morrow. Morrow says swimming is an accessible


sport and open water swimming, without lanes, walls or chlorine is a liberating experience for those who like swimming. “The sport is going from strength to


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