Since 1972, there has been an association between terrorism, violence, and the Olympic Games. The events of September 11, 2001, however, clearly reescalated concerns about the Games being a terrorist target. This conceptual article discusses the theories of the risk society and the precautionary principle to understand and interpret how visitors to the most recent Summer Games, Athens 2004, framed their decision to attend. Consistent with risk theory, a strong public and financial commitment to safety at the Games was evident, with the organizers undertaking wide-ranging large-scale risk management initiatives. Athens attendees, while displaying tenets of risk aversion and engagement with a discourse of fear, also showed resilience, resistance, and indifference to potential terrorism threats. Implications for both theory and practice are noted.
Kristine Toohey and Tracy Taylor
Kristine Toohey and Tracy Taylor
This paper is a summary of a research project to investigate the relationships between women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and sport. A conflict between sport providers’ perceptions of the needs of women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and the views of the women themselves was found. Providers generally perceived the problem of low participation in sport as relating to the women’s culture (a cultural deficit explanation); whereas, the women interviewed mainly associated their low participation rates with non-inclusionary practices engaged in by providers.
Tracy Taylor and Kristine Toohey
Our research investigated the sporting experiences of women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, a subpopulation excluded from most mainstream sport scholarship in Australia. The information was collected via surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews with women. Sporting, local government, community, and ethnic organizations were also surveyed about their current policies and practices regarding sport for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The interviews resonate with a strong sense of frustration about current sport policy and provision. For many sport providers, the low levels of sport participation of women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds is a perplexing issue. The comments of many of the women interviewed reflect extreme dissatisfaction with the current lack of consideration given to them by sports providers, but a hope that the situation will improve for the better if the two groups can work together to improve their understanding of the issues.
Millicent Kennelly and Kristine Toohey
This paper employs agency theory and resource dependence theory to explore relationships between Australian national sport governing bodies and commercial tour operators. These relationships produce domestic and international travel packages to major sport events and can provide commercial revenue to sport governing bodies. The research identifies agency challenges inherent in the relationships and how these are managed by sport governing bodies. Findings indicate that while sport governing bodies and tour operators interact to generate revenue, the two parties have divergent attitudes toward risk, particularly risks associated with pursuit of profit. The sport governing bodies manage interaction with tour operators through control of event tickets, a perishable and finite resource. The research contributes insights into the challenges confronting sport governing bodies attempting to diversify revenue into commercial sport tourism, as well as the underexplored role of sport bodies in facilitating major event tourism.
Alana Thomson, Kristine Toohey, and Simon Darcy
Sport event studies have demonstrated that relevant stakeholders must share objectives and coordinate efforts to leverage a large-scale sport event to secure positive legacies. However, the challenging and complex task of collaboration between networks of diverse organizational stakeholders to secure legacies has received little scholarly attention. In this conceptual paper, the authors explore, through a political economy lens, differences between the political economies of sports and sport events pertaining to mass sport participation legacies. The authors focus on the mesolevel and consider how divergences in political economy elements—structure and context, stakeholders and ideas/incentives, and bargaining processes—influence the likelihood of mass sport participation legacies from large-scale sport events. The authors suggest a need for event legacy stakeholders to engage more meaningfully with the complexities surrounding securing mass sport participation legacies. In addition, they provide pragmatic, actionable implications for policy and practice to assist stakeholders in addressing the challenges they face to maximize legacy outcomes.