I’ve been saying this for as long as I’ve been active in sports: the essence of sports is doing sports not (only) watching sports. Far too little organizations in the sports live by this rule. Even less so the worlds biggest rights holders. But the times are changing and the London 2012 Olympic Games are about to set the standard.
Please read this full interview with Nick Bitel, the newly installed chairman of Sport England, who has a one billion pound budget to make sure the Olympic legacy of the games leads to more sports participation.
Some inspiratory quotes to illustrate his mission and his way work.
About subsidies and results
“Payment by results is important. We are also working more with other providers. The work we are doing with doorstep sports clubs and others is not just with governing bodies.”
“If governing bodies don’t achieve their targets then it’s quite clear what will happen. That doesn’t mean we’ll abandon the sport, we just won’t fund it through the governing body and we’ll find another way.”
About events for amateurs and pros alike
“People want to be enthused. They’re enthused because you’re challenging them and they’re going to achieve something, but they’re also enthused by seeing a Mo Farah or a Bradley Wiggins doing the same event as they are.”
Sports organizations, governments and sponsors have to watch closely and act according to and learn from what’s happening in the UK. It is time to measure results of sports management in changed behavior not in ambitions and pretentions.