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sports are democratic, often catering to 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 massively 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, Loch Lomond and Canary Wharf, London. The Great North Swim in Windermere,


Cumbria, is the flagship event and 10,000 people take part over a number of


There are now hundreds of mass participation sporting events organised throughout the year in the UK – a booming market which is still growing


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 growing. We’re really pleased we’ve been able to give people the opportunity to experience such an enjoyable way of staying active,” she says.


sportsmanagement.co.uk issue 2 2015 © Cybertrek 2015


BUCKET LISTS Marathon participation is also on the increase, as more events are springing up. According to Brighton Marathon organiser Tom Naylor, people are running more than one a year. “Marathon running is on a lot of people’s bucket lists, which mean events such as ours continue to grow,” he says. “The marathon is a challenge anyone can


take on. You don’t need skill or to be of a certain physique and age doesn’t play a factor. But it’s a challenge, no matter who you are. The marathon is unique in that way, which is why I think it’s so appealing. Nearly a third (32 per cent) of our participants have never run a marathon before, so clearly the event inspires people every year to get fitter for the event,” says Naylor. New for this year at the Brighton


Marathon was a 10k race, which took place before the main marathon start. More than 2,000 people participated in the secondary race, which took in the first stage of the


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