Two-thirds of the country think national sporting success is important for lifting the mood of the country, according to new research published today (23 Aug).
With Britain still reeling from the riots and the state of the economy, a survey by cricket charity â€˜Chance to Shine supported by Brit Insuranceâ€™ examines the positive effect successful national sports teams can have on the country.
In a national poll of 1098 people*, a half of respondents think national sporting achievements, like Andrew Straussâ€™ England Test team becoming number one in the world, â€˜makes people more cheerfulâ€™, while just over a third say â€˜it unites a country that frequently doesnâ€™t feel unitedâ€™ (36%) and â€˜makes the normally fairly reserved British actually go out and celebrateâ€™ (36%). Six out of 10 people (61%) say success for our national sports teams makes them feel â€˜personally happierâ€™.
Asked which of the following news would be most likely to lift the countryâ€™s mood, nearly half of the public say â€˜a UK-wide heatwave for the rest of the summerâ€™ (47%), over a third say â€˜a national sports team becoming the best in the worldâ€™ (36%), nearly a fifth say the Duchess of Cambridge â€˜announcing that she is pregnantâ€™ (19%); while one in 10 (11%) say â€˜Prince Harry getting hitchedâ€™. A fifth of people (22%) do not think anything can lift the countryâ€™s mood.
Eight out of 10 parents polled believe the success of our national sporting teams has a positive effect on their children, with nearly a third (32%) saying that it will make them more likely to want to play sport. â€˜Chance to Shine supported by Brit Insuranceâ€™ aims to bring cricket to two million children in a third of state schools by 2015 and the charity hopes the success of the England Test team will help their cause.
Wasim Khan, chief executive of Chance to Shine says, â€œNational sporting success can really put a spring in the countryâ€™s step, especially when itâ€™s in the doldrums, and inspire children to take up sport. Britain needs cheering up after the past month and our young people need positive role models like Andrew Strauss.â€
Two-fifths of people (41%) say national sporting teams success, such as the England cricket Test team becoming the best side in the world, has â€˜made the country feel betterâ€™.
More worryingly, two-thirds of people surveyed (67%) think children do not have enough positive role models. Over half the public (58%) say high-level sportsmen and women should play a more active role in helping the Government engage with young people in troubled times. Asked which sporting leader could lead the country to better times, nearly one in eight opted for Sebastian Coe.
To read the full results of the survey and for more information on â€˜Chance to Shine supported by Brit Insuranceâ€™ visit www.chancetoshine.org
*Opinion Matters questioned a representative sample of 1098 adults between 17th August-22nd August 2011