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The 'trickle down effect' of top level sport: myth or reality? A case study of the Olympics Research Completed
The 'trickle down effect' of top level sport: myth or reality? A case study of the Olympics
Bob Gidlow, Cath Peebles
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Lincoln University
Leisure Options, Australian Journal of Leisure and Recreation, vol 4, number 1
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Various benefits of Olympic involvement, commercial, political and sporting are explored. With respect to sporting benefits, the claim that involvement in the Olympics leads to ‘trickle down’ benefits for sports clubs is explored in detail. A 1992 New Zealand postal survey of Canterbury sports clubs and national sports organisations provides little evidence of these benefits – increased membership and a more competitive orientation on the part of existing members is forthcoming. Various issues related to marketing by sports clubs and national sports organisations are explored but the conclusion is reached that a failure to realise the ‘trickle down’ effect may not simply be a marketing one. Demonstrations of sporting excellence by top level athletes may hinder, rather than foster, attempts to promote grassroots participation at grassroots level.