Sport and recreation in the UK – facts and figures

We use facts and figures on a daily basis to shape our policy work and our arguments.

On this page you can find a range of information relating to the current status of sport and recreation in the UK and the wider social and economic impact sport and recreation can have.

For references to the facts and figures below please download a copy of Sport in the UK at the foot of this page.



Major Events

Physical Health

Mental Health

Sports Volunteering

Social Cohesion

Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour


Sports Clubs

Sporting Facilities & Access

School Sport & Junior Sport

Local Authorities

London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games


Equality in Sport

Technology and Data



Record Premier League revenue of £3.26 billion represented a £735m (29%) increase on 2012/13, due to 2013/14 being the first year of the current broadcast rights packages

Premier League clubs generated record operating profits of £614m with 19 of the 20 clubs in the division recording an operating profit

Championship revenue increased by 12% to a record of £491m, driven by an increase in parachute payments

Cumulative revenues of the ‘big five’ European leagues rose by 15% to €11.3 billion in 2013/14.

All five leagues reported record revenues for the third successive season, but the gap between the ‘big five’ leagues and other leading European leagues continued to widen

The overall Premier League wages/revenue ratio fell dramatically to 58%, its lowest level since the 1998/99 season

Total Championship wage costs exceeded £500m for the first time, with the wages/revenue ratio over 100% for the second consecutive season.

Total transfer spending across all 92 English league clubs exceeded £1 billion for the first time in 2013/14.

Premier League clubs’ aggregate net debt reduced to £2.4 billion in 2014, with record levels of cash now present in balance sheets.

Championship clubs’ aggregate net debt increased to £1.1 billion at summer 2014.

At £280m, the overall level of capital expenditure by England’s 92 professional clubs in 2013/14 was the highest of all time.

Ref: Deloitte (2015), Annual Review of Football Finance 2015- Highlights

Premier League clubs spent £130 million to acquire new players in the January 2015 transfer window, which was the same amount spent during the 2014 January transfer window, but less than the record level seen in January 2011 (£225 million).

Added to the £835 million spent in the 2014 summer transfer window, this adds up to a total transfer spend of £965 million during the 2014/15 season (Ref:

In the 2015 summer transfer window, Premier League clubs spent £863 million (Ref:

The 2015 Rugby World Cup has provided a £1 billion cash injection into the UK economy, and a boost of £2.5 billion when taking into account knock-on effects and the retail sales rise of 1.9 % in September (Ref:

England Rugby 2015 generated over £250 million in ticket revenues, delivering an £80 million surplus to World Rugby and a £15 million surplus to the RFU to be invested into the development of rugby (Ref:

The Rugby World Cup is expected to deliver up to £2.2 billion in output to the UK’s economy, translating into an additional £982 million of value added to GDP

International visitors are expected to contribute up to £869 million in direct expenditure

Investment in infrastructure for the tournament is expected to reach £85 million, bringing lasting benefits to the Host Cities

Up to 41,000 jobs and volunteering roles have been created as a result of the World Cup

Ref: Ernst & Young (2015), The economic impact of Rugby World Cup 2015-$FILE/EY-rugby-world-cup-final-report.pdf

Spending attributable to attending a live sporting event is as much as £3 billion a year

Participating in Cycling/Mountain Biking whilst on holiday can bring in £42 million a year, while playing golf can bring in £370 million, water sports £261 million and fishing £218 million

Ref: Visit England data on domestic tourism-

The 260 million people who visit national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty spend in excess of £6 billion and support over 85,500 businesses and more than 120,000 jobs.

Ref: National Parks England (2015), Much more than a View-

In 2012/13 the 42.4 million adults who visited the natural environment spend £21 billion

Of all overnight trips taken in Britain in 2012, 37% related to trips involving outdoor recreation, equating to a figure of £10 billion

In 2012, the outdoor specialist market was estimated to be worth £1.43 billion

Walking tourism alone supports up to 245,000 equivalent full-time jobs, and contributed up to £2.76 billion for the English economy

Ref: Sport and Recreation Alliance (2014), Reconomics-

79% of people feel that the Government should do more to support grassroots sport, while 75% agree that grassroots sport should receive more funding from the Government-

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport suffered a £30 million cut to its annual budget in 2015, a 2.5% overall cut-


Academics examining more than 500 studies on physical activity schemes found that schemes to promote walking and cycling had a massive impact, with one UK study finding local trade can be boosted by up to 40% in an area where more people walk

In London town centres in 2011, walkers spent £147 more per month than those who travelled ion by car

Ref: Living Streets (2013), The Living Pound-

Walking and Cycling projects return an average of £13 in economic benefit for every £1 invested- Ref:

The national cost of inactivity in England is £8.2 billion a year. This figure includes the direct costs of treating diseases linked to inactivity and the indirect costs caused by sickness absence. Based on the best available data, this represents ten per cent of total societal costs when compared against other top-tier public health concerns including sexual health, smoking, obesity, drugs and alcohol misuse.

Ref: UK Active (2014), Turning the Tide of Inactivity-

Britain’s natural capital is worth at least £1.6 trillion


Hosting the World Gymnastics Championships is forecast to add £5 million to the Glasgow economy


In 2013/14 the Premier League directly, and indirectly via its supply chain, contributed:

  • £6.2 billion to UK economic output;
  • £3.4 billion to UK GDP
  • £2.4 billion in taxes to the Exchequer
  • Supports over 100,000 jobs


Total spending by international visitors who attended a football match was £684 million in 2014. Visitors who attended a match had an average spend on average £855 in the UK, compared with an average spend of £628 for those who did not attend a match.


Golfers in the UK spend £4.3 billion on their sport in 2014, accounting for 14% of all consumer spending on sport

More than half of all consumer spending on golf, £2.2 billion, was channelled through the UK’s near 3000 golf clubs. Golf equipment & clothing accounted for £939 million, while golf related tourism, events & accommodation contributed £775 million

Golf’s gross value added (GVA) is calculated at £2 billion, which makes up 7% of GVA attributed to sport in the UK

The turnover of the UK golf industry during 2014, after accounting for indirect and induced economic impact effects, is estimated to be £10.3 billion


The £23.46 billion that was spent on sport during 2013/14 contributed towards a £44.75 billion ‘outcome’ for health, wellbeing, education & social impact

£1 billion was saved from the reduced risk of CHD/strokes, £132 from the reduced risk of breast cancer, £48 million from the reduced risks of colon cancer, £239 million from reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, £2 billion from dementia savings and £1.5 billion from reported improved good health

Improved ‘subjective wellbeing’ from sport made an economic impact of £30.4 billion, by the far the biggest economic impact   

£41 million was saved from a reduction in crime, while £5 million from the improved educational performance of those who participate in physical activity

£1.3 billion of savings came from enhanced human capital, while £7.8 billion came from the work of volunteers in sport

For every £1 invested in sport in 2013/14, £1.91 worth of overall social impact is generated

For every £1 invested in sport by government in 2013/14, £3.15 worth of social impact is generated

For every £1 invested in sport by sports participants and volunteers in 2013/14, £1.79 worth of social impact is generated

Ref: Sports Industry Research Centre (2016), Social Return on Investment in Sport: A participation wide model for England-

The value in engagement in all sports is £1,127 per year.

Participation in dance has the highest value of £1,671 a year, followed by swimming (£1,630)

Ref: Fujiwara, D., Kudrna, L. and Dolan, P. (2014a). Quantifying the social impacts of culture and sport. DCMS. -

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Over 2.47 million tickets were sold across all 48 matches at the Rugby World Cup, including over 100,000 child tickets

1.6 million fans attending RWC games used the train to get to their match, with 1.4 million went by car. Special train services were put in place for 250,000 journeys and 300,000 shuttle bus movements from city centres to venues

An estimated 460,000 fans travelled from overseas to watch the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Over one million fans enjoyed the 15 official fanzones set up for the Rugby World Cup in each host city plus Rugby

The final of the 2015 Rugby World Cup was enjoyed by an estimated audience of 120 million. Highlight viewing figures for the tournament include a record 25 million in Japan to watch the match versus Samoa and 11.6 million for England v Wales, the largest rugby audience in the UK since the 2007 tournament final


The IPC Swimming World Championships 2015 in Glasgow was worth more than £1.5 million to the Scottish economy

98% of UK resident spectators felt proud that Glasgow hosted the event and 89% would recommend the spectator experience at the event to friends and family


The Rugby World Cup 2015 is estimated to have:

-Generated £2.3 billion in additional output

-Generated between £15 million and £85 million in output to host cities outside of London and Cardiff

-Contributed £1.1 billion in GDP

-Supported nearly 34,000 jobs & volunteer positions

-Generated £277 million in total tax receipts to Government

-Saw over 2.47 million tickets sold 

Over 406,000 international visitors came to England during the tournament

The Return to Rugby programme, which offered a social reintroduction for former players aged 18-30 at clubs around RWC host cities, saw more than 2,500 former players engaged & 40% returning to play

Ref: Ernst & Young (2016), The economic impact of Rugby World Cup 2015: A post event study-

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Physical Health

Over one in four women (26%) and one in five men (19%) do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week, so are classified as ‘inactive

21% of boys and 16% of girls aged 5-15 achieve recommended levels of physical activity

A lack of physical activity is costing the UK economy an estimated £7.4 billion

Physical activity is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability in the UK

Reducing inactivity could prevent up to 40% of many long-term conditions e.g. diabetes, as well as help manage over 20 common conditions

Physical inactivity directly contributes to 1 in 6 deaths

Physical activity declines with age to the extent that by the age of 75 years only one in ten men and one in 20 women are active enough for good health

Disabled people are half as likely as non-disabled people to be active, while only one in four people with learning difficulties take part in physical activity each month compared to over half of those without a disability

Studies have shown that being active plays a key role in brain development in early childhood and is also good for longer-term educational attainment. Increased energy levels also boost workplace productivity and reduce sickness absence

Ref: Public Health England (2014), Everybody Active, Every Day Framework-

There was a marked increase in the proportion of adults that were obese from 13.2 per cent in 1993 to 26.0 per cent in 2013 for men, and from 16.4 per cent to 23.8 per cent for women- 25% overall

41% of men and 33% of women were overweight- meaning just over two thirds (67%) of men and 56% of women were either obese or overweight

In Scotland, 27% of adults were classed as obese, while 22% of adults in Wales are obese

Current UK guidelines for aerobic activity recommend that adults aged 19 and over should spend at least 150 minutes per week in moderately intensive physical activity, in bouts of ten minutes or longer, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of the two. In 2012, 67 per cent of men and 55 per cent of women aged 16 and over met these new guidelines. In both sexes, the proportion who met the guidelines generally decreased with age.

In reception year (aged 4-5) in 2013/14, the proportion of obese children (9.5 per cent) was higher than in 2012/13 (9.3 per cent) but lower than in 2006/07 (9.9 per cent).

In Year 6 (age 10-11) in 2013/14, the proportion of obese children (19.1 per cent) was higher than in 2012/13 (18.9 per cent) and also higher than in 2006/07 (17.5 per cent).

Adults who are obese are more likely to have a high level of blood pressure than those who are not obese (48% of obese men compared to 16% non-obese men, 38% compared to 10% for women)

Adults who are obese are more likely to report having a limiting longstanding illness than those who are not obese (29% compared with 15% for men and 34% compared with 16% for women)

In 2013/14 there were 9,325 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of obesity- 15% less than during 2012/13 (10,957) but is over five times as high as ten years ago (1,711). 6,746 of those where female admissions, and 2,578 were male

Adults in the 55-64 age bracket had the highest number of recorded hospital admissions with a diagnosis of obesity (68,175) followed by the 65-74 age range (63,735)

In 2012, 67 per cent of men and 55 per cent of women aged 16 and over met UK aerobic activity guidelines. In both sexes, the proportion who met the guidelines generally decreased with age

A higher proportion of boys than girls aged 5-15 (21 per cent and 16 per cent respectively) were classified as meeting current guidelines for children and young people of at least one hour of moderately intensive physical activity per day. Among both sexes, the proportion meeting guidelines was lower in older children.

Ref: Health and Social Care Information Centre (2015), Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet for England-

In 1980, around 7% of adults were obese, compared with 25% today

Evidence shows that 52% of overweight men and 30% of overweight women think they are “about the right weight”, while 77% of parents of overweight children do not recognise that their child weighs more than they should.

Ref: Davies, S (2014) Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer: On the State of the Public’s Health-                                                                                                            

Guidelines from Sport England for the required amount of physical activity for each age group:

Early Years-

Physical activity should be encouraged from birth, particularly through floor-based play and water-based activities in safe environments.

Children of pre-school age who are capable of walking unaided should be physically active daily for at least 180 minutes (3 hours), spread throughout the day.

Children and Young People-

All children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day.

Vigorous intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, should be incorporated at least three days a week.


Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more

Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or a combination of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.

Adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.

Older Adults-

Older adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more

For those who are already regularly active at moderate intensity, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.

Older adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.

Older adults at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week.

Ref: Sport England (2011), Start Active, Stay Active-

Local authorities have nearly doubled the amount of public health funding that they have allocated to tackling physical inactivity between 2013/14 to 2014/15

70% of local authorities have increased their allocated public health budget spend on physical activity in 2014/15

Spend on inactivity still represents the smallest proportion of public health grants (4%) in comparison to the other top tier public health areas: sexual health (36%), alcohol misuse (30%) and smoking cessation (9%)

Inactivity levels in the UK are double those of Germany and France and more than 20 per cent higher than those in the United States

Ref: UK Active (2014), Steps to solving inactivity-

In 2012, in England and Scotland, 67% of men met the guidelines. More men met the guidelines than women and physical activity declined with age for both genders

The highest percentages of men and women achieving the recommended levels of physical activity in England are found in the South East (72% and 61% respectively).

The highest levels of physical inactivity in England are in the North West for both men (26%) and women (31%)

The highest levels of physical inactivity in England are in the North West for both men (26%) and women (31%)

In both boys and girls in England the proportion of children aged 5 to 15 years meeting recommendations fell between 2008 and 2012. A higher decline was observed amongst boys than girls. The largest declines were at age 13 to 15 years for both genders

Regional differences in children achieving physical activity recommendations are found in England. More than 25% of boys in the South East met recommendations, while only 13% did so in the South West

In 2012, in England, men and women spent similar amounts of time walking, but women spent less time engaging in physical activity outside of the workplace.

Among both girls and boys in England, 85% participated in informal sports and exercise

On weekdays, men and women had a similar amount of average sedentary time in England. On average in England, men and women were more sedentary on weekend days than weekdays

Ref: British Heart Foundation (2015), Physical Activity Statistics 2015-

Physical inactivity is responsible for 17% of premature deaths and can either cause a number of health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes and cancer, or increase your chances of developing one or more of these conditions by up to 30%

An inactive person spends 37 per cent more days in hospital and visits the doctor 5.5 per cent more often than an active individual

If everyone in England was sufficiently active, nearly 37,000 deaths could be prevented

Ref: The Ramblers & Macmillan Cancer Support (2014), Walking Works- http://www.             

57% of MP’s think physical inactivity is one of the top two health issues facing the UK right now & that 79% of MP’s feel that physical inactivity should be a higher priority for Government

Ref: UK Active (2015), UK Active’s Blueprint for an Active Britain-

About 676,000 deaths each year in Europe were down to inactivity, compared with 337,000 from carrying too much weight. Eliminating inactivity in Europe would cut mortality rates by 7.5%, while cutting obesity would only reduce it by 3.6%-


There is a broad relationship between levels of physical inactivity and socio-economic status. The most deprived areas have on average 32% adult inactivity compared to 24% inactivity in the least deprived areas

Areas with the highest levels of physically inactivity have the highest levels of premature mortality, with the average number of premature deaths per 100,000 people per year in the most inactive local authorities 342.

In contrast, areas with the lowest levels of physically inactivity have the lowest levels of premature mortality, with 242 cases of premature deaths per 100,000 people occurring in the least inactive local authorities

Ref: UK Active (2014), Turning the Tide of Inactivity-

1% of schools formally measure children’s physical literacy or motor proficiency

91% of primary schools surveyed recorded or tracked the amount time children spent in PE schools, though only 43% stated that they recorded or tracked the amount of time children spent being physically active in PE lessons

Ref: UK Active (2015), Generation Inactive-

In England, 47% of people walked at least 5 times a week and around 3% cycled at least 5 times a week

86% of adults walk at least once a month- while 14% do not. 15% of adults cycle at least once a month-

Two thirds of British people will be overweight or obese by 2025, with 70% of men and 62% of women included in this number, up from 66% of men and 57% of women in 2015

By 2030 these numbers will have risen to 74% of men and 64% of women

The cost of obesity and diabetes to the NHS is likely to rise from £5 billion in 2015 to £50 billion in 2050


In a recent review of the literature relating to dementia and contact with nature, Clark et al (2013) found the benefits of nature contact for people with dementia included: improved emotional state: reduced stress, agitation, anger, apathy and depression; improved sleeping and eating patterns; improved verbal expression, memory and attention; improved awareness, sense of well-being, independence, self-esteem and control; as well as improved social interaction and a sense of belonging

Clark et al (2013), from Natural England (2016), A review of nature based interventions for mental health care

Participation in sport and exercise at moderate intensity in adults reduces risk of CHD and Stroke in active men and women by an average of 30%

Participation in sport and exercise at moderate intensity in adults reduces risk of breast cancer in active women by 20%

Participation in sport and exercise at moderate intensity in adults reduces risk of developing colon cancer by 24%

Participation in sport and exercise at moderate intensity in adults reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes by 10%

Participation in sport and exercise at moderate intensity in adults reduces risk of developing dementia by 30%

Ref: Sports Industry Research Centre (2016), Social Return on Investment in Sport: A participation wide model for England-

Sports participants are 14.1% more likely to self-report good health than non-participants

Ref: Fujiwara, D., Kudrna, L. and Dolan, P. (2014a). Quantifying the social impacts of culture and sport. DCMS.-

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Mental Health

91% of participants in an Active for Life pilot project in Barking and Dagenham found that the activity helped increase their sense of mental health and wellbeing

Ref: CLOA (2014), The role of culture and leisure in improving health and wellbeing-

£1 in every £8 spent in England on long-term conditions is linked to poor mental health

More than 11% of the NHS budget is spent on treating mental illness – but the indirect costs from unemployment, absenteeism and presenteeism can be higher. These indirect costs totalled £30.3 billion in England in 2009/10 across all mental illnesses, compared with direct health and social care costs of £21.3 billion

Ref: Davies, S (2014) Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer: Public Mental Health priorities-

Physical activity has been shown to have a strong and positive influence on mental wellbeing and some mental illnesses.  

People with high levels of regular physical activity have been shown to have higher levels of positive emotions such as interest, excitement, enthusiasm and alertness compared to people with moderate and low levels of physical activity

A review of studies which have investigated the impact of exercise interventions on positive moods has shown that regular aerobic exercise results in moderate increases in positive moods

Participation in regular physical activity can increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. Physical activity can help play a role in preventing mental health problems and improve the quality of life of those experiencing it. For example, there is an approximately 20–30% lower risk for depression and dementia, for adults participating in daily physical activity.

Cross-sectional studies on adults who are employed have found that highly active individuals tend to have lower stress rates compared to low active individuals.

Physical activity can be an alternative treatment approach for depression. It can be used as a stand-alone treatment approach or in combination with medication and/or psychological therapy.

Ref: Mental Health Foundation (2013), The Impact of physical activity on wellbeing-

Studies have shown that exposure to the natural environment can lower the effects of various mental health issues, and even enhance the mental health and wellbeing of children and adults

Ref: Natural England (2012), Learning in the Natural Environment: Understanding the diverse benefits of learning in natural environments-

Long periods of inactivity such as sitting on the coach watching TV or playing computer games is made for your mental health as it makes it more likely for a person to suffer from debilitating anxiety attacks


A poll conducted by Mind revealed that four fifths (80%) of people with mental health problems who do not take part in sport don’t feel confident in their sporting ability and feel self-conscious about their bodies.

Nearly 70% of people questioned said they felt their mental health makes taking part in sport too difficult

Of those who do take part in sport, more than one in five say it is because their GP or another health professional had recommended it, while more than ninety per cent participate because it is good for their mental wellbeing.

Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of people with mental health problems say they enjoy taking part in sport, or exercising, however around nearly two thirds (64 per cent) are worried about taking part in sport by themselves

62% wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health with other members, while 57% said they would feel uncomfortable talking about their mental health problems with a coach or instructor


Local authorities in England spend an average of 1% of their public health budget on mental health


Mental illness often co-occurs with poor physical health and those experiencing mental illness are also more likely to have poorer diets, be less active, have higher rates of smoking, drug and alcohol misuse and have increased risk of long-term physical conditions

Ref: Allen and Balfour (2014), from Natural England (2016), A review of nature based interventions for mental health care

Ward Thompson et al. (2012) identify three main pathways that the natural environment provides that contribute to mental health benefits: i) directly through the restorative effect of nature; and then in two indirect ways, ii) through providing opportunities for positive social contact; and iii) through providing opportunities for physical activity

Ref: Ward Thompson et all (2012), from Natural England (2016), A review of nature based interventions for mental health care

Specific psychological benefits highlighted in research include reduced stress and anxiety, improvements to mood, increased perceived wellbeing, improved concentration and attention and cognitive restoration. Other implications from research are that gardens and nature in hospitals enhance mood, reduce stress and improve the overall appreciation of the health care provider and quality of care

Ref: Cooper Marcus and Barnes (1999); Whitehouse et al. (2001) Sempik et al. (2003), from Natural England (2016), A review of nature based interventions for mental health care

84% of people believe that the Government should invest more money in mental health sport & physical activity sport

80% of people agree their mental health is improved if they exercise or are physically active

85% agreed that GP’s, nurses and pharmacists should promote sport and physical activity as a treatment to help people with their mental health


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Sports Volunteering

There are 3.2 million sport volunteers in the UK, the biggest individual sector in the volunteering sector (20%)- this makes sport volunteering worth £53 billion, making it one of the most valuable sectors in the UK, on a par with the energy sector and four times as big as agriculture

7 out of 10 sports clubs need more volunteers (at time of publishing)

People who volunteer in sport have a 10% higher self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and resilience, are 15% less likely to worry & are 28% more likely to feel what they do has importance

Each sports volunteer produces over £16,032 worth of social value to communities in the UK- in total all sports volunteers’ produces £53 billion worth of social value

Ref: Join In (2015), Hidden Diamonds: Uncovering the true value of sports volunteers-  

20.8% of volunteers in CMS areas volunteered in sport, the highest than any other CMS area

The proportion of adults who felt that the UK hosting the Olympics had motivated them to do more voluntary work has remained statistically similar between 2010/11 and the year ending September 2015, when it was 8.1%

The proportion of men that had volunteered in the sport sector was more than double the proportion of women (29.9 per cent for men and 13.6 per cent for women)


42% of people who volunteer in sport cite the need to fill their spare time as a reason for volunteering

Commonly people cite a lack of physical fitness as a major barrier (26%) to getting involved in sports volunteering

While most hear about their opportunity via word of mouth almost as many (36%) looked for opportunities in sport online and on social media, compared with only 21% of those who looked for general volunteer opportunities

Only 15% of people who do volunteer found out through their club directly asking them, despite there being significant overlap between sports volunteers and participants

16% of people say the reason they don’t volunteer is, very simply, that they have not been asked

60% say they help out in sport because they enjoy it, which is 7% more than volunteers overall

Sports volunteers are also more likely to say they would volunteer more if they had more time: 46% of sports volunteers vs 31% of volunteers overall, even though sports volunteers already volunteer more frequently and already give more time per week than the average volunteer

Sports volunteers are far more likely than other volunteers to stop volunteering. A massive 32% stopped or reduced their volunteering in the last year compared with 17% of general volunteers- a potential loss of 1.79 million from 5.6 million volunteers annually

18% who dropped out or reduced their volunteering said they felt their club was badly organised, compared with 4% of volunteers in general. 19% felt it was someone else’s turn to step in vs 11% of volunteers generally

55% of the general public don’t realise that local sports clubs are run by volunteers


Since London 2012 National Lottery funded athletes have volunteered over 17,000 days of their time in schools and communities, reaching an estimated 730,000 young people


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Social Cohesion

Four in five (81%) sports club members say they make friends through their exercising compared to just 14% of fitness centre users.

Physical activity programmes at work can reduce absenteeism by up to 20%.

Seven in ten people (71%) say the performance of Team GB affects their national pride, whilst six in ten (58%) people state they take pride in British sporting achievements more generally.

Ref: Sport and Recreation Alliance (2012), The Game of Life-

Sports club members in the UK are more likely than non-members to be politically engaged, meet socially with friends and have trust in civil institutions. Membership of a sports club in the UK has an equivalent effect on life satisfaction and happiness as moving up approximately one and a half household income categories – around £3,600.

Ref: Delaney L & Keaney E (2005), Sport and Social Capital in the United Kingdom: Statistical evidence from national & international survey data-

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Crime & Anti Social Behaviour

Evaluation of a Street Sports programme in Crewe and Nantwich found that while the programme was running, anti-social behaviour fell- in one area incidents fell from 24 down to 3, as well as having an effect on the participants levels of offending.


Street Games runs doorstep sport programmes to engage with young people in disadvantaged areas. Some of the areas they have done so include:

Stoke-on-Trent, which contributed to a 35% reduction in reported anti-social behaviour incidents from 17,000 in 2010 to 11,000 in 2012

Derbyshire, where police data has indicated that in the areas where these initiatives have run in indicates that anti-social behaviour has fallen, in one case by over 50%

Merseyside, where data showed a 29% reduction in recorded deliberate fires and a 27% reduction in police recorded ASB incidents


Sport 4 Life uses sport as a tool to engage disadvantaged teenagers and young people in Birmingham who have a history of offending onto their educational programmes. Out of the 777 young people who have engaged with the scheme, including 23 young ex-offenders, 87% have gone on to not commit any further offences-

Doorstep Sport Clubs have generated £69 million in savings to society every year since 2013-£69m-every-year

From August 2014 to August 2015, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation delivered a minimum social cost saving of £20 million, with an estimated social cost saving of £7 for every £1 spent by the foundation.

The estimated social cost saving for crime of all projects run/supported by the foundation is £3.6 million, £12 million for substance misuse and £1.1 million for young people who were NEET


Sports participation leads to a 1% reduction in criminal incidents for males aged 10-24 years

Ref: Sports Industry Research Centre (2016), Social Return on Investment in Sport: A participation wide model for England-

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  • From April 2014- April 2015 15.49 million people aged 16 years or over (35.5% of the adult population) played at least 30 minutes of sport at least once a week
  • This is a slight decrease of 220,000 on the previous year’s figures of 16.05 million people, but is an increase of 1.4 million compared with 2005/6. Most adults, 58%, still do not play sport
  • A further 914,600 people aged 14 and 15 years old (73.3%) played sport at least once a week
  • 3.80 million 16-25 year olds (54.8%) played sport once a week, the same as during the period 2013/14. 
  • 11.69 million adults aged 26 years or older (31.9%) played sport once a week, a slight decrease from the previous year’s figure of 11.90 million
  • 8.63 million males aged 16 or over played sport once a week, a decrease of 118,000 from the previous year’s figures, while 6.86 million women aged 16 or over played sport once a week, 280,000 fewer than the previous year’s figures
  • The difference between the number of men and women playing sport is at its greatest amongst 16-40 year olds, with the difference narrowing amongst older age groups- biggest gap is in early twenties- just under 70% for men, 40% for women
  • 2.92 million people from black and minority ethnic groups (37.9%) aged 16 or over played sport once a week, 37,000 more than in the previous year, while 12.57 million white people (35.1%) aged 16 or over played sport once a week, 599,000 fewer than in the previous year
  • Rate of participation is greater amongst people from greater socio-economic groups than those from lower socio-economic groups, by 38.7% to 25.7%. The latter has decreased since 2005/6, from 27.2% 
  • More people played sport in the summer than in the winter, although levels of sport participation in 2014/15 was lower than the average for that time of the year from August to November 2014 and February and March 2015.
  • Swimming, cycling and athletics were the most popular sports that were played in 2014/15, though the first saw a decrease from last year of over 400,000 participating in swimming, the biggest decline of any sports from 2013/14.
  • 1.56 million (17.2%) people with a disability played sport, still only 1 in 6 people. 

Ref: Sport England (2015) Active People Survey 9Q2-

A study of 2000 Britons found that one in four of us (26%) lie about the amount of exercise we do, and discovered that we tell fitness fibs an average of three times a month-

Consumer spending on gym membership has soared by 44% in the last year


The number of schools offering football for girls has risen from 12 to 120 in the past five years


The number of people taking part is disability sports in Wales has increased by 30% over the past year, from 832, 929 in 2013 to 1,087,288


Over half of adults (55%) in Northern Ireland had taken part in at least one sport within the last year, a similar proportion to that reported in 2013/14 (54%). A higher proportion of males (63%) than females (47%) participated in sport within the last year.

The most frequently cited sport was swimming or diving (22%). This was followed by ‘keep-fit, aerobics, yoga, dance exercise’ (16%), jogging (15%) and cycling for recreation (15%).

Nearly a quarter of the adult population (23%) were members of at least one sports club, with males twice as likely to be a member of a sports club (33%) than females (16%).

Adults living in the most deprived areas in Northern Ireland were less likely than adults living in the least deprived areas to have participated in sport within the last year, or the last four weeks


  • 41% of adults aged 15 or over in Wales participated in sport at least three times a week, up from 39% in 2012. This rises to 62% participation when you add on participation of at least once a week on average.
  • 38% of the adult population in Wales do no frequent activity (they do not participate in sport for at least an average of once a week), down by 2% from 2012
  • 46% of men in Wales took part in sporting activities at least three times a week, compared with 35% of women, an increase of 3% from 2012
  • 57% of 15-24 year olds in Wales participate in sport at least three times a week, compared with 24% of 65 years and older, an increase of 3% from 2012
  • Overall participation was higher amongst mixed ethnic groups (85%) than in white people (70%)
  • Only 29% of adults with a disability, health problem or long-term illness in Wales participate in sport in Wales at least three times a week, compared with 41% of non-disabled people participating at least three times a week

9% of adults in Wales volunteer in sport (10% in 2012), equating to a workforce of 235,000. On average, volunteers give 10 hours of their time per month, compared with 8% in 2012

Ref:  Sport Wales (2012) Active Adults Survey- & Sport Wales (2016) Active Adults Survey-

  • Just over three quarters of all adults (78%) had participated in any sport, including walking, in the previous month, the most popular activity was walking, with 64% of adults doing this. The number of people who say they walk for at least 30 minutes per week has increased by 10% over the past 5 years
  • If walking was excluded, just over half of adults (51%) had participated in a sporting activity over the past 4 weeks. Swimming was the most popular form of physical activity, with 18% saying that they swam, followed by keep fit/aerobics (13%), multigym and running (12%), and cycling (11%). Overall participation, excluding walking, has roughly stayed the same over the past 5 years
  • Sport participation was higher for men than for women (81% and 75% respectively), with an even higher difference once walking was excluded (57% and 46%). Women participated in keeping fit/aerobics (17%), dancing (10%) and swimming (19%) at a higher rate than men did
  • Sporting participation declines with age, from 89% in the 16-24 age range to 43% in the 75 plus age range, and from 70% to 21% when walking is excluded.

Ref: Scotland Government (2015) Annual Householders Survey-

Over half (57%) of disabled people questioned said they had completed no moderate intensity physical activity over the past seven days. This is compared to 24% amongst non-disabled persons.

41% of disabled adults say a lack of a lack of exercise provision suitable for disabled people stops them from taking part in sport and physical activity. 26% cited inaccessible facilities, with 21% naming a fear of injury


Nearly half of all British adults (44%) admitted they do not take part in any moderate exercise, despite 47% admitting to being slightly overweight and 15% saying they were considerably overweight

The majority of men opt for vigorous exercise for 30 minutes or more twice a week, while women only did so one & a half times a week. Nearly 60% of women say they are health conscious, compared to 52% of men


About five million adults spend more than eight hours a day sitting down, and one in ten Britons admit they never walk for more than ten minutes at a time


A poll conducted by the British Heart Foundation found that one in seven people has done no exercise for more than a decade, while a fifth said they never exercise & 15% say they only do so less than once a week. Almost half said they had not run at all in the past year


Eight out of ten supporters from EFDS’s ‘Supporting me to be active’ programme state they have some level of influence in encouraging disabled people to be active.

The most common type of support given, by six out of ten supporters, is acting as a motivator and inspirer


48% of girls agree that “getting sweaty is not feminine”

Over half of all boys and girls agree that “there are more opportunities for boys to succeed in sport than girls”

37% of girls say that “I am motivated to be active because my mother/step-mother is active”

57% of all girls are active because their friends are, while the same % drop out of sport and physical activity because their friends do

A third of girls and boys agree that “families are less supportive of girls’ involvement in sport and physical activity”

57% of girls agree that “girls drop out of sport and other physical activity because their friends do”. The least active girls are twice as likely to agree with this statement as the most active

Ref: Women’s Sport & Fitness Foundation (2012), Changing the Game for Girls-

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Sports Clubs

Average club surplus since over the two years from 2010 to 2012 has increased by 67% and is now £1,825. Positive as this is, average club surplus remains 39% lower than it was in 2007 and nearly nine in ten clubs (84%) have been actively trying to reduce expenditure or increase income in the last year.

As in 2010, just under half of UK clubs (48%) are running at a surplus but encouraging the number of clubs breaking even has risen from 23% to 28% whilst those at a deficit have dropped from 28% to 24%.

Since 2009 club income has risen for three years in a row – the average club now has an income of £42,845. However, over the two years from 2010 to 2012 expenditure has grown at broadly the same rate as income, now standing at £40,824.

Over the past two years expenditure has grown at broadly the same rate as income with average club expenditure at £40,824 in 2012, an increase of £4,462 on 2011 and an increase of £6,239 (18%) on 2010. However, looking at the picture over the last five years to 2012, income has increased by 6% while expenditure has increased by 14%, showing that clubs are still not as financially healthy as they were in 2007 before the UK economic recession.

Around one third of clubs (34%) said that in the last year they had taken the measure of increasing membership fees in order to increase club income. At the average club the annual membership fee for adult participating members in 2013 is £78. This is an increase of £5 (7%) on 2012 when the fee was £73.

Clubs hire and lease from a variety of providers, the most common of which is the local authority from which half (53%) of clubs which hire or lease their facility do so. Across all clubs, this amounts to more than one third (38%) which are reliant on their local authority as a facility provider. The other main providers are schools (33%), private operators (21%) and trusts or charities (12%).

Almost one in ten clubs (8%) lack access to appropriate equipment for members to participate fully in their activity. Only one in three (35%) UK sports clubs has access to appropriate equipment for both disabled and non-disabled people to participate.

One in three clubs (32%) would like training in how to provide for disabled people. Additional areas that clubs would like training and support in are recruiting club members (55%), recruiting volunteers (46%) and marketing (45%).

In 2011, the average club had 68 adult participating members. This has increased by a considerable 20.6% to 82 adult participating members in 2013.

Forty nine per cent of all clubs hire a facility – with the average club that hires spending £5,224 on doing so in 2012. This represents an increase of £231 on 2011 when the average club spent £4,993 on hiring. Nearly one in three clubs (31%) say that their facility hire costs have remained fairly constant in the past two years, against the rising costs experienced elsewhere in the economy.

More than half (58%) of sports clubs say they have one or more link with schools in their local community, with almost nine in ten (88%) of these links reported to be successful. For the majority of sports clubs, school links are important for recruiting members and developing the physical skills of young people.

Forty six per cent of clubs say they have a good or very good relationship with their local authority and 34% state that it is average. Amongst clubs which hire a facility from their local authority they are slightly more positive about the relationship with 49% of these clubs stating the relationship is good or very good.

Fifteen per cent of clubs state that over the last 12 months they have carried out less maintenance to their playing or training facilities in order to reduce expenditure, and 11% have reduced the maintenance on their infrastructure facilities.

Mid-sized and larger clubs are more likely to see accessing funding as a challenge in the next two years, with 60% and 65% respectively stating this compared to 43% of smaller clubs. Almost three in five large clubs (59%) see income generation as a challenge, as do more than half of mid-sized clubs (54%) whilst 42% of small clubs voice this concern.

Despite concerns around increasing facility costs and a lack of coaches, around half of our sports clubs are optimistic about being able to improve their facilities (54%) and train or develop their coaches, staff or volunteers (49%) in the next two years.

Forty nine percent of clubs state that in the last year they have increased their fundraising efforts and 45% reporting that they have applied for more funding in the last 12 months in order to try and increase club income. In addition, 44% of clubs report that they have been actively seeking to recruit new members.

A third (34%) of clubs which use a combination of facilities are worried about having access to the facilities they require in the next two years. Three in ten (29%) clubs which hire, short term lease or access public space are also worried about having access to the facilities they require in the next two years.

Ref: Sport and Recreation Alliance (2013), Sports Club Survey 2013-

Sports club members in the UK are more likely than non-members to be politically engaged, meet socially with friends and have trust in civil institutions. Membership of a sports club in the UK has an equivalent effect on life satisfaction and happiness as moving up approximately one and a half household income categories – around £3,600.

Ref: Delaney L & Keaney E (2005), Sport and Social Capital in the United Kingdom: Statistical evidence from national & international survey data-

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Sports Facilities and Access

Black and minority ethnic people, the disabled or chronically ill, the elderly, and people from poorer backgrounds have reduced access to high quality green spaces, and use green spaces less than other groups. For example, our analysis of urban green space in Greater Manchester showed that people in the 25 per cent richest areas enjoy, on average, 2.7 times as much green space per head as the 25 per cent most deprived areas. In addition, we found that city-dwellers in higher socioeconomic groups) are more likely to have visited urban green spaces within the past seven days than those in lower socio-economic groups.

Local authorities across England have cut their spending on open spaces by an average of 10.5 per cent between 2010/11 and 2012/13.

Ref: Policy Exchange (2014), Green Society: Policies to improve the UK’s urban green spaces

45 per cent of local authorities are considering selling or transferring management of their parks and green spaces over the next three years.

Ref: Peter Neal Consulting and Community First Partnership, State of UK Public Parks 2014: Renaissance to Risk? (Heritage Lottery Fund, 2014).

58% of the English adult population (24 million) claimed to visit the outdoors at least once a week, while an estimated 2.93 billion visits were made to the natural environment between March 2013 and February 2014

94% of the adult population agree that having green open spaces near to where they live is important, while 88% say that spending time outdoors is an important part of my life

Ref: Natural England (2015), Monitoring Engagement with the Natural Environment-

Overall visits to the natural environment were up by 9.6% from last year (2014) from 685.8 to 751.8 million visits, while the proportion of the population visiting the natural environment was 38.9 million

Ref: Natural England (2015), Meaningful engagement in the Natural Environment survey-

Around 9 million children in England visited the natural environment between March 2014 and February 2015 (88% of all children in England).

70% of children (7 million children) visited the natural environment frequently (at least once a week).

Regional variations were apparent e.g. more children living in the North East took frequent visits (78%) compared to children living in the West Midlands (64%) or London (62%).

Children from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) households were less likely to frequently visit the natural environment (56%) compared to children from non-Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (non-BAME) households (74%).

Children from higher income households (socio-economic groups A and B) were more likely to visit frequently (77%) than children from lower income households (socio-economic groups D and E) (65%)

In households where the adults were frequent visitors to the natural environment, most children (82%) were also frequent visitors. In households where the adults rarely (or never) visited the natural environment, the proportion of children visiting frequently halved to 39%.

Ref: Natural England (2016), Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment- 

2.6 billion estimated visits are made to UK public parks each year

86% of park managers report cuts to revenue budgets since 2010 and they expect this trend to continue for the next three years

71% of households with children under 10 are concerned that reductions in council budgets could have a negative impact on the condition of their local park

45% of local authorities are considering selling parks and green spaces or transferring their management

Ref: Heritage Lottery Fund (2014), State of UK public parks-

Despite the social value of people being able to access the countryside being in excess of £10 billion, over 30% of the services provided by our natural environment are in decline

Ref: Natural Choice (2011), The Natural Environment White Paper-

In 2013, one in five of all tourism day visits in England included someone with a health condition or impairment, spending £9.4 billion

Ref: Visit England (2014), The Accessible Tourism Market-

96% of respondents to the National Parks Survey said that it is important for us as a nation to protect areas of the countryside from development

Peak District National Park (2012), National Parks Survey- 

Local authorities with the highest levels of physical inactivity have a third fewer leisure facilities per 100,000 adults - 42 on average - compared to those with the lowest levels of adult inactivity which have an average of 64 leisure facilities

The most deprived areas have fewer than half the number of leisure facilities compared to the least deprived (37 and 77 facilities per 100,000 respectively). The national average is 60 leisure facilities.

Ref: UK Active (2014), Turning the Tide of Inactivity-

80% agree that Government should recognise and support outdoor recreation the same way it supports sport

89% value outdoor spaces for sport and recreation as much as they value leisure centres, pitches and courts for sport

58% would do more outdoor recreation if there were better transport links to places where they could be active

83% agree that schools should give every child the chance to take part in outdoor recreation such as sailing, climbing and orienteering


A survey of 21,000 people suggest more than 80% of people with a disability, and nearly seven out of ten without, feel there is a prejudice against people with disabilities in leisure activities

69% of respondents with a disability faced barriers in accessing fitness and leisure facilities with almost all saying they would be more active if those were removed.


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School Sport and Junior Sport

Learning outside the classroom experiences, such as visits to farms or parks, can improve children’s writing standards by nine months on average, increasing to 18 months for pupils on free school meals, showing how learning outdoors can help disadvantaged pupils in catching up with their peers

Ref: Education Endowment Fund (2014), Using Self-Regulation to improve writing-

The greatest proportion of research findings showed that students who learn in the natural environment generally perform better in reading, mathematics, science and social studies and show a greater enthusiasm for studying science, as well as getting apathetic students more interested in learning

Studies have shown that teachers who have taught in the natural environment become more enthusiastic about teaching and start to develop more innovative teaching strategies back with them into the classroom

Ref: Natural England (2011), Learning in the Natural Environment: Understanding the diverse benefits of learning in natural environments

74% of young people who took part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme said they developed higher levels of self-esteem after participating in the scheme, while 71% identified improved self-belief and 64% felt as a result of the scheme they are better at sport and physical activity.


97% of primary schools and 85% of secondary schools actively encourage physical activity as part of the school day.

76% of primary schools have a PE Professional Learning Strategy for staff.

95% of schools considered that PE, physical activity & sport makes a positive contribution to life skills, while 91% considered that it makes a positive contribution to achievement, 70% to behaviour and truancy & 69% to attainment

The average number of minutes spent taking part in PE in a typical week was found to be 102 for Key Stage 1 and 114 for Key Stage 2 in the 2013/14 survey, down from 126 in Key Stage 1 and 114 in Key Stage 2 in a similar survey done in 2009/10

On average pupils across all Key Stages were offered less than two hours of PE per week.

Schools were asked to select what they considered to be the most important factors in ensuring high quality PE and sport for their pupils. The top factors as rated by all schools were:

  • Continued investment in primary sport provision (82%)
  • Infrastructure or support for schools to work together (51%)
  • Continued investment in the Sainsbury’s School Games (45%)

Ref: Youth Sport Trust (2015), YST National PE, School Sport and Physical Activity Survey Report-

Almost one million young people and thousands of schools took part in National Schools Sports Week in 2014-

Following the introduction of the PE and Sports premium, the number of primary schools using external sports coaches has increased from 37% to 82% and the use of specialist PE teachers has increased from 22 to 54%, with 91% of schools also using external sport coaches to deliver extra-curricular activity

The vast majority of schools (91%) reported that due to the funding there had been an increase in the quality of PE teaching

67% pf schools reported offering a wider range of sports during curricular time whilst 77% reported doing so during extra-curricular time

84% of schools reported that there had been an increase in pupil engagement in PE during curriculum time, while 83% thought there had been an increase in participation in extra-curricular activities

79% of responding teachers thought that the premium had increased participation for all children- with 38% saying it increased participation amongst the least active they taught, 35% the most disadvantaged children and 30% for children with SEN

Around a third of schools felt that the premium had had a big positive impact on behaviour- including confidence (35%), a healthier lifestyle (33%) and physical fitness (26%)

Ref: Department for Education (2014), PE & Sport Premium: An investigation in primary schools-

In the year to August 31st 2015, 19,511 schools with 8.36 million eligible students had participated in the School Games, with £21.6 million of public funding allocated to the School Games- this equates to an average public sector cost of £2.58 per eligible student at schools participating in the School Games

Ref: Department for Culture, Media & Sport (2015), School Games Indicator 2014/15- 

Risky outdoor play such as climbing, rough and tumble pay and jumping is not only good for children’s health but also encourages creativity, social skills and resilience- 

75% of young people say they enjoy PE lessons in school, while 64% say that they feel better about themselves after doing sport

However, only 28% of students are members of out-of-school sports clubs and only 16% of girls compete in a non-school context.

Nearly a quarter of today’s young people (23%) think playing a computer game with friends is a form of exercise

Young people who described themselves as ‘always happy’ are twice as likely to take part in two or more hours of physical activity per day, and three times as likely to be a member of a school sports club

Over 40% of young people would like to do more exercise

Only 14% of children recognise that involvement in sport, recreation and physical activity can have a positive impact on marks achieved in class

Ref: Youth Sport Trust (2015), The Class of 2035-

In a poll by Fit for Sport just before the start of the 2015 summer holidays, nearly three quarters of primary school teachers expected their pupils to spend the summer in front of the television or on a tablet rather than being outdoors, with only 12% believing their pupils will spend most of their time outdoors

40% of teachers thought children’s fitness levels would drop over the summer


Research with 40 primary school teachers reveal they believe more than one in three (39%) children across the UK are leaving primary school with a negative disposition towards being physically active

Two in five teachers (42%) say their students don’t enjoy PE lessons and believe 40% of children leave primary school without the foundation movement skills to engage effectively in physical activity

A third of teachers (32%) lack confidence when it comes to teaching PE, while just over a quarter (28%) say they don’t feel adequately qualified to teach the subject. Over half (53%) want more professional development opportunities for teaching PE

The majority (88%) of teachers say they recognise PE is important, and as important as the other subjects they teach, although 40% admitting PE was one of their least favourite subjects to teach


The number of 11-to-15-year-olds that have played sport in the last four weeks has dropped from 96.7 per cent to 94.9 per cent in 2014/15.

The number of 5-15 year olds that have taken part in competitive sport in and outside school has dropped from 80% in 2011/12 to 77.3% in 2014/15, while fewer than one in five (19%) play competitive sport outside of school.


91% of children aged 2-4 are currently not meeting the UK physical activity guidelines for their age group of 3 hours a day-

75% of parents think that it is more difficult to get today’s children active than their previous generations, and 90% think smart technology is to blame


Sports participation leads to a 1% increase in educational attainments (aged 11-18)

Ref: Sports Industry Research Centre (2016), Social Return on Investment in Sport: A participation wide model for England-

Graduates who participate in sport at university earn an average of 18% more per year than their non-sporting counterparts

Ref: Allen, K., Bullough, S., Cole, D., Shibli, S and Wilson, J. (2013). The impact of engagement in sport on graduate employability.

Nearly half of the least active girls – 46% – say they “don’t like the activities we get to do in PE” compared to just one in five – 22% – of the most active

45% of girls say ‘sport is too competitive’

76% of all girls agree that “girls are self-conscious about their bodies”.

Just over a quarter of girls (20%) agree that “I feel my body is on show in PE and this makes me like PE less”. This rises to over a third (35%) of the least active

Over a third of all girls agree that “my PE teacher only pays attention to the kids who are good at sport”

Activity levels in the early years of primary school are similar between girls and boys. In Year 4, 60% of boys and 61% of girls say they were “doing lots of activity”.

However, by Year 6 there is already a pronounced gender gap. By this stage 73% of boys are “doing lots of activity”, but only 39% of girls.

Boys become more active between years 4 and 6 from (60% vs. 73%) while girls become less active in the same period (61.5% vs. 39%).

Year 7 pupils do more physical activity than year 9 pupils, however the decrease between year groups is greater in girls.

Just over half of year 7 boys (53%) reported that they had participated in 60 minutes of activity on 5 or more days in the previous week, compared to 49% of girls.

During secondary school, a decline in physical activity occurs for both boys and girls. However, there is only a small decline for boys (from in 53% in Year 7 down to 49% in Year 9). For girls in secondary schools however, activity levels fall sharply (from 49% in Year 7 to 31% at Year 9)

Ref: Women’s Sport & Fitness Foundation (2012), Changing the Game for Girls-

More than two thirds of boys and girls in England walk to school at least once a week. The proportion of children cycling to school remains low, with just 6% of boys and 1% of girls riding to school in 2012

Ref: British Heart Foundation (2015), Physical Activity Statistics 2015-

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Local Authorities

Reducing physical inactivity by just one per cent a year over a five year period would save local authorities £1.2 billion

On average, physical activity is costing the economy in each local authority in England £18 million per 100,000 people every year

Local authorities spent an average of less than three per cent (2.4%) of their annual public health budgets on physical inactivity interventions in 2013/14, while five per cent of the local authorities who responded failed to apportion any of their public health budgets to physical inactivity in 2013/14.

The most inactive local authorities have on average a third fewer leisure facilities per 100,000 adults (42 on average) than the least inactive areas (64 facilities on average)

Ref: UK Active (2014), Turning the Tide of Inactivity-

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London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

106 community facilities upgraded and 400,000 Londoners participating in grassroots sport and physical activities through the Mayor of London’s sports legacy programme

£165m invested in over 2,400 community sports facilities by Sport England since 2011

£5.4m awarded to 16 physical activity projects aimed at the least active, through the 2015 funding round of Sport England’s “Get Healthy, Get Active” fund

Nearly 5 million visitors to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park since fully reopening to the public in April 2014 with hugely popular world class sporting venues on the Park

3.48 million additional tourist visits to the UK as a result of Games-related promotion activity since 2011/12, resulting in £2.1bn in additional spending

The Mayor’s volunteering programme for schools, Team London Young Ambassadors, has now engaged over 180,000 young people from 1,000 schools in social action

30,000 people attended National Paralympic Day 2014 on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with events also held in Birmingham, Liverpool and Glasgow

Ref: HM Government & Mayor for London (2015), Inspired by 2012: The legacy from the Olympic & Paralympic Games-

84% of sports clubs do not see the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as an opportunity.

Only 2% of clubs believe that the Government has done everything it can to help community sport create a legacy of participation whilst one in five (19%) says it has done nothing and a further 54% say it has done only a little to help community sport create a legacy of participation. This means that three in four clubs (73%) do not feel that the Government has done enough to help community sport create a legacy of participation.

Two thirds of clubs (66%) do not feel that they have benefited from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More than half (59%) of the clubs who felt they hadn’t benefited from the Games were not Olympic or Paralympic sports.

For the one in three clubs (34%) who said that they had benefited from the Olympic and Paralympic Games, this was primarily as a result of increased interest and new members, including the return of lapsed members.

More than four in five (85%) of the clubs who have felt a benefit from the Games have seen an increase in enquiries from people wanting to take part and in the majority of cases (78%) these have translated into new members joining the club. Over a third (35%) have also had an increase in the number of people volunteering.

Clubs report a new wave of inspiration amongst both existing participants and new joiners and greater understanding of their sport amongst the general population.

Just under half of clubs (46%) expect to see more funding being made available to grassroots clubs and the same amount expect to see increased media coverage of disability sport and women in sport following the Games.

Across all sports clubs in the UK, two in five (42%) say that they have seen an increase in the number of people joining their club since the Games this year. A quarter (26%) of these clubs are struggling to meet this demand as a result of factors such as insufficient facility access, not enough volunteers or a lack of equipment.

240,000 people registered their interest to volunteer at the Games; 70,000 volunteers were selected.

Three quarters of clubs (78%) have noticed no change in the number of people volunteering following the Games, and a startling 96% have noticed no change in the number of disabled people volunteering at their clubs

Ref: Sport and Recreation Alliance (2012), Olympics and Paralympic Games Legacy Survey-

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Banned substances were found in more than one per cent (3,866) of 283,304 official tests carried out in sport last year. This is a fall from the 2% of adverse or atypical findings recorded during the previous year

Football carried out the most tests of any sport with 31,242 tests, from which 144 tested positive. Athletics returned 261 adverse samples from 25,830 collected and cycling detected banned substances in 221 samples out of 22,471


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Equality in Sport

Female representation in the boardrooms of Britain’s publicly funded sports has reached an average of 30 per cent for the first time, up from a 21% average recorded six years ago

On executive teams in sporting organisations, women now make up an average of 40%

The boards of almost half of the 63 sport organisations surveyed don’t meet the 25% gender balance guideline

Although all publicly-funded sport NGBs have at least one woman on their board, 16% have no woman at executive leadership level (excluding CEO)

Ref: Women in Sport (2015), Trophy Women? -

2.8 million 14-40-year-old women who recognised the TGC campaign reported having had a go at some or more activity as a result of it, while 1.6 million said they had started exercising

This Girl Can films have been viewed 37 million times on the campaign’s YouTube and Facebook channels alone.

540,000 women and girls have joined the This Girl Can social media community.

There has been 660,000 tweets using #ThisGirlCan.

The campaign has been talked about on social media every day since it launched on 12 January 2015, including Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The campaign has been talked about in over 110 countries around the world.


Technology and Data

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48 million fitness, activity and sports trackers were sold worldwide during 2015


The value of the health and fitness wearable technology market in Great Britain in 2014 was between £225 million and £375 million


The UK health app market was valued at £75 million in 2014, and is predicted to grow by 35% over the next three years


When asked on twitter how technology can keep volunteers returning to help out sport and recreation organisations and events, 77% said through opportunity matchmaking, while 8% said it would be useful in keeping volunteers incentivized and to enable improved opportunities

43% of volunteers hear about volunteering opportunities through word of mouth, while 36% hear about them through a club or group and 21% online or through an app

61% of respondents say that sports organisations are reluctant to embrace technology

41% of respondents said that improved sports offerings will be the biggest change to the sector when it comes to gathering and using data. 29% said more personalised routines and 24% thought changes to marketing

Ref: Twitter poll for twitter Q&A with Volunteer Kinetic- May 2016

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79% of people feel the Government should do more to support grassroots sport

75% agree that grassroots sports should receive more funding from the Government


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