UK ranked second in Sportcal’s new Global Sports Impact Project

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Adapted from SportCal 22 November 2012

Sportcal’s newly-published Global Sports Impact Project, an index of the nations that have been most successful in attracting major sports events, has named China as the Global Sports Nation for 2012, ahead of the United Kingdom and Russia, based on Olympic Games, major multi-sport events and world championships hosted by the countries.

China scored the highest GSI Index rating in the study, with over 57,000 points. China hosted the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games in 2008 but has continued to attract major global events since then, including the Asian Games in 2010 and the Summer Universiade in 2011, while it will host the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 and the World Athletics Championships in 2015. It will also have hosted the highest number of individual world championships between 2007 and 2018.

The UK is boosted into second place by the highly successful summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games held in London in 2012, scoring 39,393 points in the index. It will also hold the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and the World Athletics Championships in 2017.

The announcement comes as UK Sport, the UK’s high performance sports agency, unveiled its Gold Event Series, a campaign aiming to bring 70 of the World’s most prestigious events to the UK over the next six years, including 36 World and European Championships. 15 events have already been secured for the Gold Event Series including the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships and IPC European Swimming Championships in Glasgow and 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.

UK Sport’s Director of Major Events and International Relations, Simon Morton, said: “UK Sport’s event hosting strategy pre-2012 was about bringing a high volume of world class events to the UK in order to help sports and athletes prepare for the home Games, and build capacity and expertise ahead of the period we now find ourselves in.

“Beyond 2012, our ambition is to cement our position as a leading host nation by bringing the most high profile events to the UK, to build on the success of London 2012.  

“The Global Sports Impact Index is a fantastic tool to help us monitor our progress, and we are delighted the UK has been recognised for its efforts by placing second in the world; a fantastic achievement for the British sports industry.”

Hugh Robertson, the UK’s Minister for Sport, said: “London 2012 has shown the world that Britain can be trusted to deliver when it comes to hosting major sporting events. Over the next few years we want to cement our reputation as one of the leading sporting destinations in the world with the array of top-class events coming to Britain.”

Russia is close behind the UK in third place with a GSI Index rating of 39,376 points. The country is set for its own ‘golden’ period of sport with the World Athletics Championships and the Summer Universiade in 2013, the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2014, the FINA World Swimming Championships in 2015 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

The study also identifies Russia as the Future Global Sports Nation for 2013 through to 2018.

In fourth and fifth places in the index are Italy and Canada, respectively, with Italy just ahead thanks in part to hosting a large number of world championships across a range of sports, while Canada’s strength lies in its ability to attract winter sports events, as demonstrated by its hosting of the Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2010.

Commenting on the results of the study, Dmitry Kozak, the deputy prime minister of the government of the Russian Federation, said: “The preparations for the Olympic Games in Sochi are giving a tremendous boost to the development of sport in our country. The fact that a whole host of major international sporting events are going to be staged in Russia is quite rightly making our country one of the global leaders among the most developed sporting states.

“This is one of the most important elements of the Olympic legacy, which is already having an effect by helping to develop amateur and professional sport in Russia, and also by bringing tangible benefits in terms of reputational aspects.”

Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, said: “We feel honoured to be viewed as a top-five hosting nation. We will continue to aim higher as we build more infrastructure within Canada to host world class events. We will continue to see growth in Canada as we prepare to host the Pan American Games in 2015.”

The GSI project, among the most extensive studies of the sports events industry ever undertaken, has looked at the impact of sport on host nations and cities across a range of indicators including economic, financial, sport, media, social and environmental.

The project aims to create a standard methodology for studying the impact of sport to understand further the benefits that hosting major sports events brings to nations and cities throughout the world. The GSI project will cover both direct and indirect benefits to a host nation while the associated Global Sports Nations Index is based largely on direct benefits associated with the hosting of a major sporting event.

The GSI Project and the Global Sports Nations Index for 2012 will be summarised in a report due to be published in December and will be available in digital form through Sportcal.com.

For further information on the Global Sports Impact Project visit www.sportcal.com/gsi or contact Mike Laflin (mailto:mike.laflin@sportcal.com).

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