Verity Postlethwaite

Verity Postlethwaite completed a PhD from the University of Worcester's School of Sport.

Verity Postlethwaite


Verity Postlethwaite’s research assessed how the London 2012 Games had been governed in relation to the aim of creating a legacy that would ‘inspire a generation’ of young people. Whilst the question of legacy is highly complex, featuring many competing outcomes, some positive, some not so successful, Verity’s research provides a comprehensive overview of the processes, politics and policies that all fed into the overall impact of the legacy programme.

“Notably, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ bid took place during the early part of the Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair’s tenure, then into a tumultuous political period that involved a global financial crisis and significant change in political power,” Verity said. “This context helped and hindered varying sport and non-sporting actors to prepare, deliver, and measure legacy initiatives and programmes.”

“In relation to positives, the inclusion of Paralympic Values and the needs of disabled children and young people through the ‘Inspire a Generation’ legacy processes gave an important voice and presence to this often marginalised community. Although many people have a personal opinion of the ‘success’ of London 2012, my thesis provides both a framework and set of findings to bolster thinking and debate to legacy and what this means for future sport mega-events in the UK and globally,” she added.

Through her research, Verity also had the opportunity to work with partners in Japan who themselves are striving to ensure that this year’s delayed Olympic and Paralympic Games deliver a strong legacy.

“I am very proud to have been able to undertake a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science four-month Fellowship in 2019,” she said. “The Fellowship involved extending my PhD study into the context of the Tokyo 2020(1) Olympic and Paralympic Games through a collaborative partnership between the University of Worcester and Toin University of Yokohama. It was a huge privilege to share my research with Japanese partners and contribute to their quest to design and deliver a legacy of their own.”

Since completing her research Verity has been undertaking a variety of teaching, research and consultancy contracts, and she will continue to work across a variety of projects in the future.

“Later this year I will be taking up a Lectureship role at Hartpury University in Sports Business Management,” she said. “In addition, I will be continuing to cultivate a variety of research projects, including in the United Kingdom with the Lawn Tennis Association and further afield with Japanese scholars across the globe. It is an immense privilege to work with such partners and my time at the University of Worcester prepared me for these types of roles.”

And with a bright future ahead and a range of exciting opportunities on the horizon, Verity is looking forward to finally having the chance to graduate after the delay caused by the pandemic.

“It takes a village to support someone through a PhD, and I am happy to share the day with my nearest and dearest family and friends,” she said. “It is also lovely to see a lot of people again after

the tricky year or so that we have all had with the global pandemic. The graduation day will feel like an extraordinary occasion for many reasons.”

“My time at the University of Worcester was filled with academic challenge, fantastic resources, and many fond memories,” she added. “I am particularly grateful for the Hive and felt very lucky to have the River Severn as a view when busy working away on something intense.

“During my time at the University of Worcester and in the City of Worcester, a benefit has been the collegiate and friendly environment. Everyone has been very supportive, and I do appreciate the wonderful environment in both the University and across the City more widely.”