Sample Sport Paper on Definition of Sport legacy

Definition of Sport legacy

The definition of the term legacy is varied. However, as explained by Preuss (2007, p. 207), when applied to a sport event, legacy means all unplanned, planned, negative, positive, intangible, and tangible structures that live long past the end of a sport event for or by which it was created. One important characteristic of sports legacy is that it remains several years after the end of sports ceremony.

In other words, leaving a sports legacy implies leaving a mark after the sports event. It is the particular thing that is remembered post the sports event. In essence, making a sports legacy is all about having people remember the good and the bad of the sports event as well as what was accomplished. As explained by Preuss (2007, p. 208), there are six essential elements of sports legacy, namely planned, unplanned, tangible, intangible, positive, and negative. Each of these elements can be represented by a cube a shown below.


Sports legacy can also be considered as a situation whereby the sporting venue continues to be used after the sporting event. At the close of the sports ceremony, people still feel attached to the event and continue to use the venue in remembrance of the event. In addition, Cornelissen, Bob, and Swart (2011, p. 308) defined sport legacy as a bequest or heritage that facilitates the future promotion and development of the sport in a given area, country, or region. The concept of sports legacy is wide. For instance, sports legacy can be cultural, environmental, financial, economic, educational, informational, political, social, psychological, as well as image. Stakeholders usually identify both negative and positive legacies of a sporting event.

Importance of Strategic Plan for Sports Event Legacies

A sport legacy is a massive event that needs strategic planning. As explained by Sokolyk (2002, p. 45), several resources are involved, and many expenses are incurred during the entire sporting event. Furthermore, there is dire need to consider how the resources and infrastructures will be used after the sporting event. All these aspects are considered through strategic planning during the pre-event stage of the sport’s life cycle.

In particular, considerations has to be made on how the infrastructure, who will be responsible for maintenance and operation, the continuous source of income, the community benefit, as well as the future tourism benefit after the sporting event. All these aspects are arranged through strategic planning before the commencement of the sports legacy event. The entire sports legacy might be derailed if this is not done properly.

Another importance of a strategic plan for sports legacy event is the need for planning, management, and funding of the event. The strategic plan details how the event will be executed managed and funded. The source of funding must be identified in time if the event legacy has to be achieved. As explained by Schuessler (2011, p. 66), it would be unfortunate if the event’s expenses cannot be paid. He further explained that the legacy might not last longer of there is no proper management of the event’s resources and infrastructure post the ceremony.

As simply put by Sokolyk (2002, p. 48), a strategic plan provides the roadmap for achieving the vision of the sports legacy. It describes how the event will be executed, and legacy vision maintained post the ceremony. It acts as a management tool that helps the event planners do   a better job. Furthermore, it helps define the purpose of the sporting event, provide structural ideas, as well as a plan for the operational needs of the project.

Example of Strategic Plans from Sports: Olympics

Olympic is a very popular sporting event that uses strategic planning to achieve its legacy needs. This global sporting event is held every four years draws many participants and interest from all walks of life. According to Weed et al. (2012, p. 77), legacy planning became part of the role and mission of the International Olympics Committee in 2002. As outlined in the Olympic Charter,the strategic legacy plan becomes the steering tool during each Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has have addressed the issues of strategic legacy planning differently during each Olympic Games. In 2002, the committee proposed a legacy of ‘Promoting positive Olympic legacy in the host city and country’. In this context, the organizing committee assumed that the legacy would be positive. In essence, they draw legacy strategic plans that would ensure automatic growth in popularity of the Olympic Games. They proposed that Olympic Games would bring numerous economic and social benefits to the host country.

However, in 2012, the Olympic Games legacy was ‘To increase participation and inspire young people’. The focus was to inspire the generation. The committee wanted to inspire more than 2 million young people to participate in sports and other forms of physical activities. Bids for the London 2012 Olympic were framed in this context. This legacy was central to all aspects of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The committee put significant emphasis on all aspects of sporting and physical activities in the legacy strategic plan. This led to the regeneration of east London.





Cornelissen, S., Bob, U., & Swart, K. (2011). Towards redefining the concept of legacy in relation to sport mega-events: Insights from the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Development Southern Africa28(3), 307-318.

Preuss, H (2007). The Conceptualisation and Measurement of Mega Sport Event Legacies, Journal of Sport and Tourism, 12 (3-4): 207-227

Schuessler, S. (2011). Mega Sport Events & their Legacies Lessons Learned for Tourism Policy Makers. München, GRIN Verlag GmbH.

Sokolyk, K. W. (2002). Their sporting legacy: the participation of Canadians of Ukrainian descent in sport, 1891-1991. Toronto, ON, Basilian Press.

Weed, M., Coren, E., Fiore, J., Wellard, I., Mansfield, L., Chatziefstathiou, D., & Dowse, S. (2012). Developing a physical activity legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: a policy-led systematic review.Perspectives in public health132(2), 75-80.