With trends pointing toward shortcomings in delivering London 2012 legacy promises, a review was
administered on research and policy from 2005 onwards to ascertain how sports policy can impact the delivery of
sustainable community sport and physical activity programmes. A case study design was adopted and secondary data was obtained from Sport England’s Year 4 of national Sportivate data. These results were compared with aspects of government policy via the theoretical concept lenses of sustainability and policy implementation. Secondary data from Sport England for Year 4 (2014–15) of their Sportivate programme displays a boom in participation leading up to the Olympic Games, but plateaus following London 2012. In line with requirements issued by government policy, completed participants primarily consist of younger children. While findings display a closing gender gap in participation, the same
cannot be said of sustainability measures in place for the Sportivate programme. With the prevalence of external factors impeding sustainable sports participation, voluntary sports organisations are advised to capitalise on partnership approach methods for delivering sport and physical activity. As participation retention decreased in Year 4, the theoretical concept of sustainability offers calls for a change in culture, despite policy implementation perspectives highlighting the synthesis of both top-down and bottom-up approaches. A centralised system creates greater emphasis on the “professionalization” of voluntary sports organisations, which seems to steer deliverers toward short-term impact
rather than long-term goals. Recommendations suggest expanding collaborative measures between organisations to help facilitate sustainable participation after a funded physical activity programme has completed. Further research is recommended to further examine factors that influence the sustainable delivery of community sports and physical activity.