Posted: Friday, 17th February 2012
THE LEGACY of the Olympic Games is the subject of a government summit in London with input from colleagues at the Department of Exercise and Sport Science in Cheshire.
Barbara Bell, a senior lecturer in Sport Development and Sarah Minshull, a part-time researcher of will be representing MMU's Institute of Performance Research (IPR) at the Department of Culture Media and Sport Conference on February 23.
Barbara and Sarah are half-way through a project which focuses on the impacts on community sport and 2012-related sport developments in schools.
Inspired by the successful bid to host a pre-Olympic Training Camp at Crewe – a joint venture by MMU Cheshire and Cheshire East Council – the schools research is half funded by the council and half by the IPR.
Dr Bell said: “Our real work is about legacy and will take place after the Games but there is already a lot going on which we are interested in.
“For instance, schools are being encouraged to engage in projects and partnerships to stimulate not only sport but also art, volunteering and such. There is a new Get Set Network to share ideas and schools are also working in new ways with students, ambassadors and athletes.”
Sarah, an MPhil student, is conducting interviews in school with teachers and other participants and has organised a very successful Get Set for London 2012 event which attracted 23 schools to plan ideas for both Olympic and Paralympic-inspired activity.
Barbara, who has studied community sport since taking her own PhD in the field, feels that the Games could be a catalyst for a revival in school sport.
“We have seen a decline in school sport in the past decade or so, with facilities and specialist teachers lost. In some areas the culture of inter-school and intra-school competition has remained strong, but in others it has been a struggle.
“We’re interested too in seeing how capacity of schools to carry out these activities may change in the context of the country hosting the world’s most important sporting event.”
She will also be conducting research on the impact of the pre-Olympic camp with Emeritus Professor Les Burwitz and Dr Bill Taylor.