This review considers the evidence for legacy from major sporting events. It looks across the four themes of the Commonwealth Games Evaluation Project (flourishing, sustainable, active and connected).

2. Method

2.1 The aim of this review was to establish whether major international multi-sport events can leave a legacy. We have developed and conducted a comprehensive search to identify relevant research to supplement the review carried out in 2012. We have synthesised the evidence from included studies to produce a summary of the type and scale of legacies produced. Where possible we have assessed the quality of relevant studies, as well as the potential for bias. Finally, we also aimed to identify knowledge gaps in the available research.

Search strategy

2.2 Firstly, we reassessed the initial literature search results from our 2012 review with our new inclusion criteria. This literature search had generated 84 sources (see Review Protocol in the Appendix for search terms). Of these, 26 were chosen for consideration based on their title, abstract and subject descriptors.

2.3 Secondly, we updated this previous literature search using a search undertaken on our behalf by IDOX. This search covered articles published between 2010-2013 using search terms set out in the Review Protocol (see the appendix). This search generated 739 sources. Based on titles, abstracts and subject descriptions 137 were selected.

2.4 From both sets of searches, the articles selected were acquired and we then assessed their full-length version. As a result, 107 articles initially qualified for the review. Additional articles were later identified by searching through their reference lists and bibliographies.

2.5 The findings from articles which fulfilled the criteria set out in our literature review protocol were then synthesized to produce a summary of the type and scale of legacies produced around the four themes of flourishing, sustainable, active and connected, and to identify gaps in the knowledge.

Inclusion criteria

2.6 In order to maximise comparability with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, we decided to include evidence referring to events that were multi-sport; international (rather than regional or national); occurred between 1970 and 2013; that repeat at least on 4 yearly basis; and move between different host countries/ cities. The list of events included can be found in the Review protocol in the Appendix.

2.7 We included both published and unpublished English language materials from peer reviewed journals and grey sources (such as from Games Federations, Organising Committees and Governments). The decision to also include grey sources was based on the realisation that the evidence base was very limited in many areas. In particular, the findings from London tend to be heavily weighted towards grey sources at the time of writing with the academic literature yet to be published.


Email: Social Research

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