The impact hosting a sporting mega event has on a participation legacy: A case study into the Rugby World Cup 2015
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2015 is the fifth biggest singular sporting event in the world after the previous four FIFA World Cup’s (Ernst and Young, 2014). 20 teams from 6 different continents competed in the tournament that ran from September 18th to the 31st October with England being the host nation. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and World Rugby, the international governing body of the sport, have utilised various methods and initiatives to assist in producing a legacy from this tournament (RFU, 2013). This current study acknowledges the differing responses to the previous research on whether hosting a sporting event can assist in producing a legacy and thus increase participation within a certain area or country. A mixed methods approached was used in this study involving both qualitative and quantative data in the forms of interviews and questionnaires. Three participants were interviewed, who all had a different role within rugby, to collect the experiences and opinions surrounding the 2015 RWC. In addition, 51 participants completed the questionnaires to gather more data and cover other perceptions on the impact of RWC. The results of the research suggested that the RWC didn’t have the desired legacy effect on participation. Even though some positives were identified, the research concluded that the performance of the English side negatively impacted upon the legacy effect. Further research could be undertaken in a hosting nation, who achieved success within a singular sporting event, to better understand the impact of performance on the legacy effect.
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