It’s in our hands: my World Cup legacy

There’s a small event on at the moment. It may have just brushed the realms of your outermost consciousness. It’s the FIFA World Cup.

My PhD research is in the area of event legacy – the impact and change that events have. My specific area is in community sport/sport development – so in this current example, will Football in South Africa be played more? Have better coaches/officials? More members and supporters?

For these things to occur, the event needs to be leveraged/used as a catalyst. Given the current situation in  South Africa, many of these changes won’t focus specifically on sport, but on broader social changes. And a lot of change is happening.

I was explaining this to someone last week and they asked an interesting question that made me think. I clarified that the legacies will occur in the geographical location that it is held. This is indeed the case for the event I am profiling for my PhD: the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.

“But the benefits could be anywhere, couldn’t they?”. For an event of this sheer scale (a mega-mega event?), this is right.

Then I saw this post on Twitter by Ashton Kutcher. And I realised I could contribute.

The post is referring to the Social Media Envoy Group for Malaria at the United Nations. As of today only 813 mosquito nets have been donated, at $10 per net.

During the 90 minutes of a football game, 180 children will die. I’m going to donate $1 for every goal scored during the World Cup and contribute to an ongoing legacy. It’s in our hands.

Social Media Envoy Group on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MalariaEnvoy

Social Media Envoy Group on Twitter: @Malaria_Envoy

Additional: I realised that I hadn’t updated my page after the World Cup. There were 145 goals scored, which was the lowest since the 64 game format started and part of a decreasing trend. Nonetheless, I donated $145 to Unicef. I had difficulty donating to the site above, so I donated through Unicef Australia to their Malaria Sweet Dreams Appeal. This will be 29 insecticide treated mosquito nets for children and their families.

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Danya Hodgetts

Dr Danya Hodgetts is a Sport Management consultant, educator and researcher with more than 20 years experience in the sport industry. Danya specialises in developing and implementing innovative education, training and professional development programs for national and state sporting bodies, TAFE and University.

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