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Sustaining Sports beyond 2012
Sustaining Sports beyond 2012
October 2011. The excitement is building towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London (with less than 300 days to go). The city will undoubtedly host a glorious festival of sport. Meanwhile most UK sports are planning nervously (or they should be) for the next quadrennial in an atmosphere of complete uncertainty amid a climate of cut backs in public sector spending and pessimistic early indications of levels of government funding in the future.

The key issue post 2012 is the sustainability of sports in a more challenging external environment. The attached article offers hope and a way ahead to achieve 'blue ocean' space from competing organisations.

The recession that began over two years ago is now likely to continue, effectively throughout the next 4-year funding cycle. There will be less to go around, almost irrespective of the 2012 performance. 

The reality is that British NGBs (National Governing Bodies of sport) have received record levels of funding over the last decade, relative to other competing nations. Those who have delivered value may hope to retain 80% of their funding levels; those who have not will be forced into survival mode. No one has a divine right to the status quo. Sustainability is often defined as managing the triple bottom line of risks, obligations and opportunities in financial, social and environmental aspects of sport. These three are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet.

A more robust definition of sustainability is resiliency over time – organisations that can survive shocks are intimately connected to healthy economic, social and environmental systems. These organisations create economic value and contribute to strong communities.

Sustainability in sport must address important issues such as: economic efficiency (revenue growth, innovation, productivity), social equity (contributing to society and the issues it faces) and environmental accountability (resource efficiency).

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