University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Inspiring a Generation(?): Interconnecting discourses between governing actors, policy, and legacy around London 2012

Postlethwaite, Verity (2020) Inspiring a Generation(?): Interconnecting discourses between governing actors, policy, and legacy around London 2012. PhD thesis, University of Worcester.

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In this thesis, I critically examine governing actors, policy, and legacy discourses connected
to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ legacy aim to ‘inspire a generation.’
In academic, political, and media scrutiny around the ‘inspire a generation’ legacy aim the
debates are frequently reduced to considering why policy changes or legacy initiatives have
not resulted in observable increases in sport and physical activity among young people. I
move beyond these debates to discuss the governing aspect and to contribute a perspective
on how the legacy aim affected policy across the bidding, planning, delivery, and (ongoing)
legacy of London 2012. I focus on how the official London 2012 educational programme
(Get Set) affected discourses around domestic policy in the sport and education sectors.
To achieve this, I employ a multimethod qualitative design (documentary evidence, political
and policy dialogue, and semi-structured interviews) to, firstly, identify key policy and
legacy documents related to the Get Set educational programme and the London 2012
’inspire a generation’ legacy aim. Secondly, to explore discursive changes to legacy and
policy from the perspective of a variety of governing actors that span across the state,
commercial, and non-profit organisations. Given the importance placed on young people by
the UK Government and the Olympic and Paralympic movements, the legacy aim intersects
both domestic and international discourses, such as neoliberalism and ableism. The findings
of the analysis are examined further through a theoretical lens influenced by the Foucauldian
concept of governmentality.
The findings and discussion demonstrate how policy and legacy discourses have been
interpreted and utilised differently by governing actors, moreover, how such differences can
be analysed through governmental ambitions, political rationalities, and governing
technologies. The findings and discussion highlight, firstly, the ownership and responsibility
of the ‘inspire a generation’ legacy aim as there are distinct differences between the UK
Government and the Olympic and Paralympic organisations formations of governing.
Secondly, the intersection of legacy and policy around the visibility and legitimacy of the
Paralympic movement and disabled young people. The thesis contributes to the ongoing
debate around the London 2012 legacy. It suggests how the case of the ‘inspire a generation’
legacy aim has implications for academics, policymakers, and other agents understanding of
governing systems around young people, sport, and education.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the University's requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. University of Worcester, 2020.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, legacy discourses, legacy initiatives, Get Set educational programme, London 2012 educational programme, policy, legacy, Paralympic Movement, young people
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 08:33
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2021 10:46

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