Wales is a small nation of approximately three million people that sits in the shadow of a much bigger and more powerful neighbour – England. For many, England and Wales is a single place, so one of the main ways in which Wales and a distinct Welsh identity is promoted is through sport. Hosting international sporting events offers a means for small nations to put themselves more firmly on the map and develop tourism within a particular locale. Drawing upon case studies of the 1999 Rugby World Cup and the 2010 Ryder Cup, this paper examines the ways in which Wales and the Welsh have (or have not) been regenerated through staging two of the biggest sporting events in the world. Through a discussion of the discourses surrounding place and identity, it will consider the importance of sporting events as a visible signifier of post-industrial Wales and will consider some of the progress made in this sphere. Finally, the work will also reflect upon some of the ongoing challenges shaping this regenerating of Wales.
- Ryder Cup
- Rugby World Cup