A research project for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which examined how Olympic volunteer programmes can lead to post-Games volunteer legacies for host cities, has recommended a series of improvements for legacy planning.
The study examined how Olympic and Paralympic Games have transformed volunteering within host cities before, during and after the events. Twenty six recommendations for realising a sustainable and positive post-event volunteer legacy emerged from the comprehensive study, which was based on two case studies of the Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The research team comprised Dr Richard Shipway from the Department of Sport and Physical Activity at Bournemouth University; Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney from William Angliss Institute in Melbourne; Associate Professor Kirsten Holmes from Curtin University in Perth; and Professor Karen A. Smith from Victoria University of Wellington. The research team obtained funding from the IOC’s Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme to complete this project.
“The purpose of this research project was to provide recommendations for host cities and the IOC to enable future Olympic Games host cities and countries to leverage benefits from the Games volunteer programmes, and to to generate wider benefits for their communities,” said Dr Shipway.
“The findings, based on an extensive review of secondary data, combined with 27 interviews with key informants, revealed limitations with legacy planning for each Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG). In the case of the London 2012 Games, there was Government-led legacy planning but a failure to engage with the voluntary sector hampered implementation.” .
He added: “Whilst the findings of the study cannot be directly related to other Olympic Games, it will be interesting to see how the Rio 2016 volunteer legacy evolves, and how planning and financing for volunteering legacies is embedded in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Games, and the respective bid documentation for future host cities”.
The study identified how Olympic volunteer programmes can lead to post-Games volunteering legacies for host cities through engagement with the established volunteer management infrastructure. In doing so, it provides new insights into best practice Games volunteer management that may inform future host city bids and Games planning for sustainable positive volunteering legacies.
For further details on the report findings and other legacy studies, please contact Dr Shipway at [email protected]