Against a Backdrop of the Growing Political, Social and Cultural Significance of Sport, Critically Examine the Increasing Role of Nation States in the Field of Sport Policy

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Against a backdrop of the growing political, social and cultural significance of sport, critically examine the increasing role of nation states in the field of sport policy

When looking at any particular nation state you must look at three crucial areas that work in tandem to create the term nation state. The first of the three is the economy; the economy is gradually becoming more and more associated with sport as a whole. ”sport and sporting corporations are increasingly powerful players in the world economy” (Armstrong 2001). The second is the politics within a country; sport is intertwined within politics throughout many countries round the world. The final area is that of the civil society, this includes everything that is not directly related to economics or politics: “civility recognised as such in any one nation-state describes the preferred method of interaction in the public sphere and often the only one accepted as competent” (Schiffauer 2004). Throughout the course of this essay I plan to analyse these three areas and also the impact that mega events such as world cups, Olympics etc. have on a country. Because this is an integral example of how to voice my opinion of how sport can thoroughly affect every fibre of the nation state. Resulting in my opinion of precisely how integral the nation states affect is on sport policy.

To find an example of how sport affects an economy, think of the closest sporting arena to yourself and think of the surrounding shops. Wether they are cafes, memorabilia shops or newsagents. Every time said sporting arena has an event the spectators visit these shops spend their money thus minimally boosting the economy. There is something about being a spectator at a sport event that attracts almost all societies. “Expenditure on sport grew by 30 per cent between 1985 & 1995” (Gratton 2000). The realisation by huge corporations of the profitability of sport has led to it becoming a hub for marketing, endorsement and sales. Sport is often used as a vice for profitability i.e The ‘John Smiths’ Grand National, the ‘Barclays’ premier league Etc. This in my opinion highlights the importance that sport holds on a society, if such huge corporations are prepared to commit to their endorsements on a regular basis. In order for sport to become so popular and successful however often it needs the initial funding, which is the case with many athletic events, This is where sport policy becomes vital to the survival and furthermore the progression of smaller sports. Sport England has a policy where sports are either rewarded with more funding or have their funding cut. “UK Sport said the distribution of money was based on whether sports met their medal target in London” (BBC Sport 2012). This however in my opinion begs the question if you cannot have funding without success, how are unsuccessful sports expected to improve without funding? A painful example of how a sport policy can often show bias. Thus upsetting certain members of the nation state, however I can sympathise with the people who set these policies as it is virtually impossible to please all areas of a nation state.

Such policies are often derived from mega-events. The dependency on a country to gain and furthermore create a legacy from an event, I.E Olympic Games, European Football Championship or the World Cup. It is imperative for the nation state; there is no alternative in terms of financial recognition than being the superlative at sport. “questioned the funding imbalance between Olympic and non-Olympic sports” (Boardley 2012) . Figuratively of course it is easy to make the direct assumption and in fact correlation between mega events and the nation states benefit. However this is not always the case. In rare cases countries plough extreme amounts of funding into mega events and reap no reward. One of the main incentives for a nation to host a mega event is the benefit of tourism; the economy is boosted by such mega...
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