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MASS PARTICIPATION


Cycling is experiencing a boom in the UK – thanks to the recent successes of British cyclists at the Olympics and Tour de France


£89,000 since the event started in 2010. Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, says the rise in mass participation sport is encouraging, especially as many of those taking part are not “die-hard sports nuts and are just the type of people sport needs to reach.” He says that increasing participation


is one of the main challenges for the organisation’s members and opportunities which involve being outdoors, in a social setting, are popular. He encourages all sports development professionals to offer events such as these, on a smaller scale, and to find interesting locations for them by building links with private landowners.


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“For organisers and volunteers who


have thought about setting up their own version of participation events on a smaller scale, but are put off by bureaucracy and red tape, we would say don’t be,” he says. “There is the perception among some that landowners are liable when accidents take place on their land, but this isn’t the case at all. There are lots of guidelines like the Cabinet Office’s new can-do guide to help with this aspect. As sports development professionals, our job is also to ensure that more private landowners allow these events to take place in their forests, fields and lakes. "


Sports Management Handbook 2014-2015


One of the common themes of mass


participation sport is that they allow an alternative experience of a location, or access into an area which is usually forbidden. RideLondon allows cyclists the freedom of the capital without cars, the Great Swim means people can view the beauty of the Lake District from the middle of Windermere, the allure of the Celtman is the spectacular Scottish mountains and runners can at least admire the sea when their legs are giving up. Our innate need to interact with nature


is a big driver of mass participation sport and it could well be the key to mobilising even more people to get active. l


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