University of Leicester
2021Bushell-ThornalleyPhD.pdf (41.72 MB)

Old Wine New Bottle: The political narratives of governments between 2005- 2015 on what the soft legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games afforded the subject of Physical Education School Sport.

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posted on 2021-09-10, 14:42 authored by Helen Bushell-Thornalley
of the profession of Physical Education and School Sport (PESS); the City of London had been awarded the XXX Olympiad. The political rhetoric during this moment in England’s PESS history required a directional polity that created a legacy culture. The research analysed political documentation from 2005–2015. This data consisted of Hansard transcripts from parliamentary chambers and reports by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Education (DfE) and the London Organising Committee Olympic Games (LOCOG). 21 sampled documents producing data sources of 260,000 words were divided into three phases of before, during and after the London 2012 Olympic Games (L2012OG). Analytical frameworks were shaped by Fisher’s (2004) adapted comparative cultural model and the thematic analysis of soft legacy (SL) variables were coded using NVivo 12 software so that the volume and diversity of the materials studied could be comprehended.
Findings illustrate that the L2012OG shares within parliament were significantly different to what was published in governmental policies. SL priorities within education were consistently marginalised and statutory expectations were missing. The delay in the publication of key educational materials was a critical error, hence between 2005-2015 professionals struggled to ‘create a world-class PE’ (Olympic Minister, Jowell, HC, vol. 490, 2009). Conclusions illustrate that far more understanding within research should come from the narratives within parliament. Assumptions about political narratives must be viewed through the lens of truth on what, when and who is debating key decisions in education, health and well-being activities. This research demonstrates that the failings of the SL within education were because considerations made in parliamentary chambers were too late or not fully embraced.


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Author affiliation

School of Education

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • EdD



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