Olympic Games Fail to “Inspire a Generation” to actually attend

Posted on 18th July 2012 by Youth

The London 2012 Olympic Games’ official motto is to “inspire a generation.” But, according to new research, the very generation of young people that organisers hoped to inspire (16-24 year olds) has not been inspired enough to actually attend the Games. The bulk of UK 16-24 year olds will not be attending any Olympic Games events. Many won’t even be avid TV viewers.

According to the research by market research consultancy YouthSight, only around one in eight (12%) of young people aged 16-24 have any tickets for the Games. Just 1% in this age group have tickets for the Paralympics. Ticket distribution is, unsurprisingly, highly regionally biased. While 21% of young people from the London region have tickets for Olympic events, fewer than one in thirty (3%) of the same age group from the North East of England will be going to any events.

QOLYM2 Do you have tickets for the Olympics or Paralympics?

Base: All respondents (n=1000)

Gender Age
Total Male Female 16-18 19-21 22-24
Total 1000 516 484 313 338 349
Yes Olympics 120 64 56 32 38 50
12% 12% 12% 10% 11% 14%
Yes Paralympics 14 4 10 2 5 7
1% 1% 2% 1% 1% 2%
Yes Both 14 11 3 1 3 10
1% 2% 1% *% 1% 3%
No 852 437 415 278 292 282
85% 85% 86% 89% 86% 81%

Around 10% of 16-24s intend to avoid the Olympics coverage on TV ‘like the plague’ while, 60% expect to be no more than ‘occasionally dipping in’ to the TV coverage. Just over a quarter of 16-24s (28%) expect to be ‘avid viewers’ of the TV coverage.

Among those young people with tickets for events, the most popular will be Football (with a 28% share of all 16-24s holding tickets [33% for men and 22% for women]) followed by Athletics (20%), Hockey (14%), Handball (12%), Volleyball (10%), Basketball (7%), Badminton (7%) Beach Volleyball (6%), Boxing (6%), Equestrian Eventing (5%), Swimming (4%) and Diving (4%).

The most popular events for 16-24 year old Paralympic ticket holders are for Athletics (with 68% of young people with Paralympic tickets attending these events), followed by Wheelchair Basketball (21%) then Swimming (14%).

Of the 88% of young people who don’t have tickets to either the Olympic Games or the Paralympics, over three quarters (76%) didn’t ever try to obtain tickets. However, 25% of young people who don’t have tickets did try apply for them but failed either once (17%) or multiple times (8%).

YouthSight Managing Director, Ben Marks commented, “If the Olympic Games were intended to inspire young people, maybe there could have been a way to prioritise and perhaps discount their ticket applications. Ticket discounts only applied to those aged 16 and under”.

Notes

The research was conducted by YouthSight between 29th June 2012 and 5th July 2012. YouthSight interviews 1000 people aged 16-24. The sample was nationally representative by gender, age band (16-18, 19-21, 22-24), UK region and educational participation. All respondents were members of YouthSight’s 115,000-strong OpinionPanel Community. The research was part of YouthSight’s weekly Youth Omnibus survey.

Post photo by Vicki Burton

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