1st September 2016

After Team GB’s Olympics success, how do we encourage the public to get involved in grassroots sport?

The media focus on more obscure sports as a result of the Olympics is highly welcome. Not only does it raise the profile of star athletes, securing them the sponsorship they need to continue to excel, it helps to showcase to ordinary members of the general public the sheer range of sports beyond the traditional British staples of football and rugby.

As a result, the public can see just how many activities are available for them on their doorstep, as well as how accessible and inclusive they can be, encouraging them to get involved in sport and get fit.

However, maintaining the public enthusiasm we’ve seen over the last month through to Tokyo 2020, and converting this interest into involvement will take effort. Funding is needed both to promote sporting excellence across all disciplines and to support grassroots activities to ensure they are available for everyone to enjoy.

The media also has a responsibility to expand the public’s horizons beyond Premier League football by reporting as much as possible on success in lower profile sports, like women’s hockey, for example, and by raising the profile of amateur competitions as well.

By Mary Harding, Managing Director Consumer