Management of Sport Development Essay

2759 Words May 3rd, 2012 12 Pages
Sports development should be focused on mass participation not elite talent identification. Discuss.

Sports development is something which by definition caters for both the masses as well as elite athletes. However after recent spending reviews more light has been thrown on the question, which does deserve more funding and resources? In answering this question a lot of analysis has to go in to what it is that the government want out of sport and what do they consider good results to be. Both types of participation obviously have their own requirements financially and to a degree both feed into each other. However where should we focus predominantly?

Historically sports development has only been something on the peripheries of the
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This is something also argued by Abbott and Collins (2005) who saw that in the winter Olympics in USA by recruiting athlete’s who already had the desired motor skills from playing high levels in other sports, they bedded in to the other targeted sports very well.

Sports development is seen by some as the transition from mass participation to an elite athlete, yet many put more emphasis on grass roots instead of elitism. This is certainly the case with Cuskelly who says sports development is encapsulated by “strategic goals such as facilitating opportunities, promoting sport in the community, direct service provision and providing opportunities to achieve excellence”(Cuskelly 2006 p30). From this you get the assumption that sports development is more about the need to increase participation and get everyone involved in sport; with the premise that mass participation is the main requirement. However if we are to look at many club systems you will see that this is not the case. As Houlihan and Green point out in the current structuring of domestic competition a lot more emphasis is put on meeting the needs of the elite athlete and not the people playing at local clubs. This is because the club players “provide a poor justification for altering the pattern of competition for the overwhelming majority of club members” (Houlihan & Green 2008 p8) this underlines a crucial problem with sporting politics that the promotion of grass roots sport is

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