International panel in major sporting events welcomed to GCU

24 July 2014

Commonwealth Games activity at Glasgow Central Station

Commonwealth Games activity at Glasgow Central Station

To coincide with the launch of the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this week, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) welcomed an international panel of experts in major sporting events.

The distinguished panel analysed global political context, national identities and cultural impact of ‘mega-events’, such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Rugby World Cup, in a sporting events symposium.

Dr John Harris, Reader in International Sport and Event Management at Glasgow School for Business and Society, discussed the role of sport and identities in a presentation entitled ‘How big is the Ryder Cup? Observations on Mega-events, Identities and Transatlantic Golf’.

He noted the ‘increased commercialisation of sport and the aim to become more and more ‘mega’.’ He said that the Ryder Cup brought together individuals who are usually competitors into teams representing Europe and the USA. This, however, led to different perspectives on what it meant to be ‘European’.

Professor John Horne, of the University of Central Lancashire, addressed the contemporary politics of mega-events, suggesting that a ‘second-order’ sporting mega-event such as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games can act as a means to fund development of the city and is sometimes used as a ‘springboard’ to enable bidding for first-tier events such as the Olympic Games. He highlighted the politics of mega-events as ‘conjunctural’ – representing a specific cultural state of affairs.

GCU researchers investigate areas spanning sport event tourism, social identities, cultural policy, community enhancement, and internationalisation and globalisation. The tourism sector is worth £4.3bn to the Scottish economy in direct expenditure from overnight visitors and provides employment to over 185,000 people.

The group was welcomed by GCU’s Professor John Lennon, who presented work of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Development into the evaluation of Homecoming 2014.

Dr Nicholas Wise discussed attempts to make the Rugby World Cup more global in a session titled ‘More of the Same, or a New Direction?’, while Dr Matt McDowell of the University of Edinburgh and Dr Fiona Skillen from GCU presented research on ‘National Identity and the 1970 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games’.

Guest speakers at the symposium included Dr David Chaplin of Northwest Nazarene University in the US, presenting the History of Competitive Balance in Commonwealth Games Boxing: 1930 – 2010; Dr Eric MacIntosh of the University of Ottawa, presenting The Youth Event Movement: Athlete Feedback, Risk and Reward; and Dr Jung-Woo Lee of the University of Edinburgh, discussing the Political and Social Significance of the Asian Games in South Korea.

To find out more about GCU and the Commonwealth Games visit GCU’s dedicated Glasgow 2014 pages.