Sport and Communities

30 June 2017

Understanding and responding to trends in community sport is vital when delivering sports offers and that is why we have developed insight into the current habits in community sport.

Local differences

Why are there big differences in sports take-up in different parts of the country? Sport England has studied which factors have the most influence on the variations in sport take-up between different areas.

Variations between local areas

The demographic and economic factors above are partly responsible. But they don't tell the whole story.

In 2007, Sport England published the results of a modelling exercise by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. It calculated the 'expected' participation rates for each local authority area in England, based on their demographic make-up.

There was considerable variation between expected and actual participation rates – up to 4 or 5%. This suggests the differences in take-up depend on other factors too.

Sport England then commissioned the Futures Company and Mindshare to build on this work, to help understand a wider range of factors that affect sports participation and produce case studies highlighting best practice from two areas that have higher than ‘expected’ levels of people taking part. Download the documents below.

Variations between different sports

Sport England published the results of related work to understand the factors behind differences in take-up of 11 sports, and case studies of two contrasting sports (below).

Habits in community sport

Through collectively understanding, sharing and applying insights we can continue to try to transform community sport and get more people adopting a sporting habit for life. Case studies are included showing how organisations have successfully responded to gaps, trends and opportunities.

Read the report 'Habits in community sport' below for more information.