Last week The Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management and the Griffith Institute for Tourism hosted the Commonwealth Games Symposium. 

This was an opportunity for researchers to present their findings following the 2018 Commonwealth Games. 

It was great to hear from the researchers involved as they covered a variety of topics including social legacies, the impact of social media on gender representations, the impact to Gold Coast businesses and event legacies, such as the development of the athlete’s village and health and knowledge precinct.

Below is a brief summary of each project.

Measuring the social legacy of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games: Innovating research into social legacies

The Commonwealth Games Symposium was a Success2

Dr Alana Thomson (pictured), Dr Millicent Kennelly & Professor Kristine Toohey AM 

“Event proponents and policymakers justify public investment in large-scale sport events on the presumption that staging these events can secure social and economic legacies. Promises of positive social legacies, such as civic pride, social inclusion, community cohesion and wellbeing, are now commonplace in political rhetoric and event documents to garner community support for hosting strategies and to win hosting rights. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding the definition of social legacies from large-scale sport events, brought about by the use of a wide range of similar concepts, which exist across multiple disciplines of academic inquiry. This study aimed to examine the range of social legacies possible through the hosting of large-scale sport events to be able to inform the development of a measurement tool to maps the social legacy footprint of such events. To identify social legacy types that should realistically be expected through hosting a large-scale sport event, we conducted a Delphi study comprising of three rounds of surveys with a panel of experts including event practitioners and policy makers, academics and media professionals. In this seminar we will provide preliminary findings from our study, including insight into our Delphi process and an overview of the 29 social legacy types on which our panel of experts achieved consensus for inclusion in a social legacy footprint. We will also discuss the practical implications of this list of social legacies for future event host cities and provide an update on the subsequent development of this program of research.”

A social media analysis of the gendered representations of female and male athletes in the 2018 Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games Symposium was a Success2

Dr Elaine Yang (pictured), Dr Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore, Dr Caroline Riot, Michelle Hayes and Emily Chen 

“The contemporary sports culture is characterised as highly masculinised where female athletes are continually marginalised in traditional media. Despite evidence suggesting that media representation of athletes has meaningful impact on social outcomes and participation rates of women and girls little is known about gendered representations of athletes on social media and in the context of mega sport events. Further, how gender representations impact community perceptions of sport culture and work to influence broader participation goals is not well understood. This paper examines gendered representations of athletes on the social media platform of Twitter during a mega sport event. Using sentiment, word frequency and word connection analyses, the research examines the 716,914 tweets made by the general public and event related organisations (e.g., news media companies, organising committee) about female and male athletes during the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Results indicate marginal gender differences concerning athlete representation on Twitter, yet further enquiry is needed to understand the impact of content length and gendered hashtags on emerging narratives. Recommendations to guide stakeholders are provided to advance a more inclusive sports culture through strategic use of social media during mega sport events.”

Business and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games: Expectations, outcomes and the future

The Commonwealth Games Symposium was a Success2

Dr Joan Carlini & Professor Andrew O’Neil 

“Initially, our 2017 study sought to provide clarity around the various opportunities for business resulting from the GC2018. A number of contextualised benefits and challenges were identified in the one year leading up to the Games. The follow-up project investigated the post-GC2018 impact on business. Drawing on a range of interviews with business owners and operators and a survey, the project findings detail the impacts of the GC2018 on Gold Coast private enterprise, and the City’s operating environment.”

Transforming Communities through Event Legacies: Residential property development as a driver for new housing choice on the Gold Coast

The Commonwealth Games Symposium was a Success2

A/Prof Sacha Reid & Dr Melissa Pocock (pictured) researched the impact on the property market to the Gold Coast following the development of the Athletes village and health and knowledge precinct.

In attendance were Griffith academics and industry partners with a shared interest in the outcomes of the research.

A discussion was raised about our role in sharing our research findings with future host cities so they can maximise the positive impact and legacy of the games in their own city.

The event ended with networking among Griffith staff and industry partners. For more information on the impacts and insights, click here.

In the coming weeks, we will be releasing videos of each project. Subscribe to our Youtube channel here.