GLASGOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) Mark Hirst – There will be no “lasting legacy” from the international Commonwealth Games without long-term, sustained investment, a leading UK sports organization told RIA Novosti.
“Big events often deliver a short-term boost to participation, but the key is sustainability,” said James Allen, head of policy at the Sport and Recreation Alliance said the Commonwealth Games, which opened in Glasgow on Wednesday.
“To deliver a legacy of participation over the longer term you need infrastructure in place. You need people, places, equipment and that’s something which needs to be built up over years, not weeks,” Allen said, adding that a long-term legacy requires both planning and funding, which are often "in short supply when all eyes are on delivering a successful event.”
On Wednesday, leaders of both the UK and Scottish Governments told select audiences about the need to capitalize on the “legacy” of the Games, but Allen said the focus should have been on the legacy as the nation won the right to host the event.
“Large sports tournaments represent real opportunities to get more people active in sport but we’re still learning the best way to do activate participation. It’s a learning curve but one of the keys to success is thinking about it as soon as you win the right to host an event,” Allen said.
More than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories are taking part in the 20th Commonwealth Games that will last until August 3.