When talking about sports, it’s easy to focus solely on all the glory associated with them – the great teams, the unprecedented accomplishments, the incredible athleticism etc. However, one of the best aspects of sports and sporting events is the positive impact they can have on local communities.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the various ways that sporting events help to boost local communities, from improving the economy to creating work opportunities.
One of the most obvious ways that sporting events positively impact local communities is the economic boost they provide. Very large events like the World Cup or Olympics can provide a huge economic boost for entire countries but there are countless examples of more modest sporting events helping the economy of local communities.
Sporting events being hosted in cities can help to create job opportunities as well as improving infrastructure and providing funding for sports facilities in the local community. They can even help the local economy through boosting tourism, depending on the size of the event. For example, a major boxing match being hosted in a city can easily attract fans from around the world and the attention that it brings to the town when online users place their money on sites like Powerplay and now have that location in their head to potentially visit at some point in the future. This global awareness effect is really powerful.
Inspiration to kids
Another great impact that sporting events have on local communities is the inspiration they provide to kids. Young children and teenagers often idolize their favorite sports stars and being able to see them up close can provide them with a lot of inspiration and encourage them to pursue their dreams.
Encouraging more girls to participate in sports
As well as inspiring kids, sporting events can also help to encourage more girls to participate in sports. This is particularly true for events such as the Women’s World Cup. Women’s football in particular has seen a lot of growth in popularity over the past 5 years and this has doubtless encouraged many young girls to start playing football and more sports in general.
Part of living in a local community is feeling like you’re part of what’s going on socially and sports events can help tremendously with this. Many people like to watch their local sports team each week and this is a great way to feel like you’re participating in your community and gives a chance to meet and socialize with other like-minded people.
Sports events can also be great for allowing older people and those who might not otherwise have much opportunity to feel involved in the community to feel more included.
Promotes good health
Poor health and obesity amongst kids has become a real concern in certain countries in the West, particularly in places like the US and UK. The rise of smartphones and social media has meant a stark reduction in the amount of exercise and fresh air kids are getting.
Sports events in local communities can absolutely help to encourage kids and adults alike to pursue a more healthy lifestyle.
Potentially reduces crime
Sporting events in higher crime areas can potentially help to reduce crime by encouraging kids who might go down the wrong path in life to pursue sporting aspirations instead. It’s been shown that boxing gyms, for example, can be a great outlet for young people who will attend them instead of potentially getting into trouble by joining gangs or getting involved with drugs.
Sporting events can also be great for promoting inclusion in local communities. Most sports allow people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds to take part and having sporting events in the community can help to encourage inclusion in a very significant way.
It can also help people with disabilities or those who come from poor socio-economic backgrounds to feel like they’re more a part of the community.
Pride in the local community
A recent study titled ‘The Value of Events Report 2022’ showed that 83% of people in the UK are proud that it hosts major sporting events. If you think about some of the biggest annual events that take place each year in the UK, such as Wimbledon and The Grand National, they’re not only a source of immense pride for the local communities but also help to boost the economy and provide plenty of paid and volunteer opportunities for locals.
It should be clear now just how much of a positive impact sports and sporting events can have on local communities. There are few things that can promote so many positive benefits for communities, from boosting the economy to promoting health and inclusion among kids and young people.