The Olympic Games as a Weak Excuse

The Olympic Games as a Weak Excuse

The Aim of my research as a PhD student over the last two and half years has been to examine how the Japanese and Tokyo governments, through sports diplomacy, will use the Olympic Games as a soft power tool. The phrase ‘the Olympic Games as a Weak excuse’ stems from the data collection and coding process of my research to examine the effectiveness of Japans soft power strategy in using the Olympic Games as a soft power tool. The organisation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been an incubator of narratives, an Olympic Games like no other. This is because of the Emergence of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) that led to a global pandemic, resulting in the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (more…)

A Second Summer of COVID, Nearing (New) Normality?

A Second Summer of COVID, Nearing (New) Normality?

For a few months now the summer sun – punctuated with episodes of deluging rain – has provided the backdrop for the continued gradual reopening of our social, sporting and cultural venues. In turn, these developments have presented us with the opportunity to begin returning to social and spaces as audience members, engaging with events in closer proximity with others than has been possible for quite a while.

Navigating the return to a state of near normality has been – and for some continues to be –challenging. If the preceding months have taught us anything, it has perhaps been to ‘expect the unexpected’. Yet, it is also clear that festivals and events of all stripes do not thrive on uncertainty. (more…)

Football is Nothing Without Fans – Football, Theatre & COVID19

Football is Nothing Without Fans – Football, Theatre & COVID19

Football is Nothing Without Fans – Matt Busby

Bellshill’s finest football thinker, Matt Busby, predicted the uncanny experience of people watching cultural and sporting events take place in empty spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’m currently writing a book about theatre in-the-round for Methuen Drama (Bloomsbury) and the pandemic has caused me to re-think my introduction to this monograph entirely. My view is that the recent ‘presence of absence’ of the spectator in live streams from stadia and performance spaces has re-emphasised the value, and therefore the influence of audiences on cultural and sporting organisations. (more…)

CCSE, A Year in Review through the Lens of our Blog: part II

CCSE, A Year in Review through the Lens of our Blog: part II

In the early spring, plans for our upcoming Annual Symposium – to be hosted at the University in May, 2020 – we well underway. And then, the COVID19 pandemic arrived.

By the end of March, 2020 we – based at UWS – along with colleagues from across our networks of collaborators, stakeholders and associates were finding our feet in the ‘new normal.’ For many of us, this included working from home for the foreseeable future. (more…)

Project Echo – An Introduction

Project Echo – An Introduction

The hosting of major sports events provide many benefits for the host cities including increased funding for infrastructure and development. However, less is known on the impact on specific population groups. Project Echo is an online research forum seeking to understand the post-games effects of hosting the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Pan American Games/ Para Pan American Games in Toronto. (more…)