Are grassroots sports events good for migrant cities' sustainable development? A case study of the Shenzhen 100 km Hikathon

Hui Wang, Peng Ju, Honggang Xu, Donna Wong

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    6 Citations (Scopus)
    55 Downloads (Pure)


    Compared to official sports mega events, grassroots sports events are attractive to participants because of their universality, accessibility, and casual nature. Taking the Shenzhen 100 km Hikathon as an example, this study investigates the effect of grassroots sports events on sustainable development in migrant cities through residents' perceptions of such events, and how these affect support. We collected 59 questionnaires in a pre-survey and 612 surveys for formal analysis, and used SPSS and AMOS software to construct a structural equation model. The results indicate that the Hikathon's popularity, low media impact, small scale of investment and construction, and short duration had fewer negative effects and was beneficial to sustainable development for the migrant city. Residents perceived more positive benefits (improved city image and economic, environmental and cultural benefits) and less negative costs (environmental and traffic costs), which lead to broader support for such events. Among residents' sociodemographic characteristics, only age was found to moderate the relationship between perceived effects and support. The findings suggest that residents generally perceive grassroots sports events positively, especially in migrant cities, such as Shenzhen, where community events are considered to serve an important role in the construction of place identity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number256
    JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2019

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).


    • Grassroots sports events
    • Residents' perceptions
    • Residents' support
    • Shenzhen city
    • Sustainable development

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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