3 Sep 2012

The Olympics Effect - MediaCom study

One of the main aims of the London 2012 Olympics had been to “inspire a generation” and a recent MediaCom study of c. 700 kids seems to suggest it has done just that.

MediaCom’s School Children’s Attitude Monitor found that more than 50% of kids aged eight to 12 said the Olympics had made them want to do more sports. It also suggests that while the Sports idols of boys remained Premier League footballers, girls named  athletes like Jessica Ennis and Usain Bolt as their favourite stars.

 “It’s really encouraging to see an increasing number of kids wanting to be professional athletes when they are older – it shows that the likes of Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis have made a big impact and are truly influential figures for the younger generation,” Pauline Robson, director of Real World Insight at MediaCom, said.

“A few years ago the results showed many of the children saying that they wanted their job to involve being ‘famous’ for no reason, so this shift is really positive. And with over 50 per cent of boys and girls aged eight to12 agreeing that the Olympics has made them feel like being more active, it suggests that in the short term anyway the Olympics have indeed ‘inspired a generation’. Whether this can be sustained however remains to be seen.”

The Olympics have also piqued interest in Glasgow 2014 with more than 40% of Scots say their experience of London 2012 has made them more excited about the prospect of the Commonwealth Games in two years’ time.

It remains to be seen how long–lasting the Olympics effect will be but there’s no doubt that, at least for now, the inspiring performances of our athletes has raised the bar in terms of sporting participation.