More than 47,000 youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds have joined the growing Doorstep Sport Club programme, a national initiative designed to encourage more active lifestyles.
Launched two years ago by the national sports charity StreetGames, in partnership with Sport England, the programme has seen around a third of female participants sign-up as well as 32 per cent from a black and ethnic minority background.
With plans in place to add a further 100 clubs to the 900 already established across the UK by the end of July 2015, even more youngsters are set to benefit from the 10 sports the programme delivers, which include dance, football, basketball, table tennis and badminton.
"When we began the Doorstep Sport programme, young people told us they wanted to be more active but the opportunities to get involved in sport were simply not there for them,” said Jane Ashworth, CEO of StreetGames.
“Our goal was to close the gap in participation in sport between affluent areas and disadvantaged areas. We're working hard to achieve that goal and through the work of thousands of coaches and volunteers, we're starting to make a big impact as these figures show.”
The clubs are delivered by over 300 organisations – a mixture of local authorities, leisure trusts, voluntary organisations, community organisations, professional clubs and educational institutions.
In addition to getting more youngsters active, the savings the programme delivers have also been estimated at over £69 million thanks to the decreasing related financial burden on society.