Olympic legacy evident in Birmingham - says sports businesswoman

A leading Birmingham sports businesswoman has responded to cynics who claim the holy grail of Olympic legacy won't be delivered.

Speaking after the Birmingham Sports Awards, on Friday night, managing director of Citydesk Sport, Michelle Leavesley, stated she believes there has been a positive shift in people's attitudes towards sport thanks to the 'Olympic effect'. 

Mrs Leavesley, a Birmingham University lecturer, and board member of British Wheelchair Basketball, said she believes the Olympics has helped to encourage more sport at grassroots level coupled with an increase in people becoming more active in the city of Birmingham and across the UK. 

She said:

“In all the years I have played sport and worked in the industry, I have never seen such a positive shift in attitude towards sport and fitness than what I witnessed during the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

Evidence is emerging to demonstrate that attitudes toward sport have genuinely changed, not only within the community, but also in the workforce - inspired by the now famous voluntary Games Makers - to raise their game to achieve the absolute best for British sport. 

I was very pleased to present the governing body project of the year award (that was sponsored by Citydesk Sport) at the event, held by the Birmingham Sports Association, to the English Table Tennis Association for the Ping Community Programme - who erected 65 ping pong tables in the city, during the summer, to encourage people to take up table tennis. As a marketing agency, we strive to reach the heart of the community with our campaigns and the eye catching way that this sport reached out to the people demonstrated the level of innovation and imagination needed in the future to anchor the public wave of interest post games."

This was a great initiative to unite friends, families and communities in the true spirit of the Olympics as well as a glowing example of the legacy London 2012 has left behind in places like Birmingham."



  • Formed in 2008 Citydesk Sport offers an array of marketing communication services including market analysis, strategy development, communications planning, social media strategies, communications delivery and outsourced marketing management.
  • Citydesk Sport manages media campaigns for a host of government bodies and national organisations. These include Give it a Go London, Community Games and Get into Golf, to name a few.
  • The company was set up in Birmingham to provide, for sport, top quality marketing communication support and solutions for businesses looking to reach UK-wide audiences, outside of London.
  • Michelle Leavesley has worked in the sports marketing industry for more than 20 years. She is a representative on a number of boards and is the Chair of the West Midlands Institute of Young Directors.
  • Michelle Leavesley also works as a lecturer at University of Birmingham Business School. 

Birmingham Sports Association

  • The 32nd annual Birmingham Sports Awards were held on Friday evening (November 16) at the University of Birmingham's Bramall Music Building. 

Donna Roddy

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