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Justifying the Olympic spending by claiming that the Games in London will inspire more Britons to participate in sports may be plain wrong, reveals a new study.

“Give us our Ball Back: Reclaiming Sport for the Common Good”, a new report by the two British think tanks, the Sports Think Tank and Theos, argues that politician’s claims about the benefits of the Olympics with regards to health, values, morality, and the economy are misleading.

According to a recent British survey, only 4% of people agreed strongly with the statement “I’m inspired to play more sport at the moment because of the London 2012 Olympics”, and 80% disagreed or disagreed strongly. This, the report argues, suggests that the Olympics do not have any significant influence on the level of sports participation.

The report suggests that “sport is no longer just a matter of leisure, entertainment or of spectacular international tournaments. We have come to expect it to make us better people, to contribute to world peace, to develop our economies and make us healthy. Clearly, sport can do these things, but the report argues that firstly we need to be clear that sport has now often been reduced to being a tool rather than something with intrinsic worth.”

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