Skip to content

The GOGA Way – Tackling health inequalities through innovation

To mark the end of Disability History Month our head of disability explains The GOGA Way campaign and how it has successfully improved accessibility in our sector by thinking differently about the challenges of disability.

16th December 2022

by Cat Clements
Head of disability, Sport England

To mark the end of Disability History Month (DHM) and celebrate innovation and the tackling of health inequalities in the sport and physical activity sector, we wanted to highlight the Get Out Get Active (GOGA) programme.

The initiative has been run and led by the Activity Alliance since 2016 and is being delivered in various localities across the country.

It’s been supported from the start by founding funder Spirit of 2012, and brought in further investment in 2020, with Sport England and the London Marathon Charitable Trust each providing awards of £1m. 

From the beginning, GOGA has successfully used an innovative approach to engaging disabled and non-disabled people in new and varied methods of activity, and it’s still making an impact.

According to the latest figures by GOGA, which were published this week, in the seven years since its launch, it has:

  • attracted more than 80,000 disabled and non-disabled participants
  • recruited 3,300 volunteers
  • supported 2,000 volunteers and paid staff to reach the very least active
  • delivered more than 3,200 activities and a multitude of events across the UK.

Delivery partners involved in GOGA from 2016-20, continued to be engaged and still champion the principles of the programme. 

The GOGA Approach consists of several ‘core ingredients’, which must be used in order to deliver an activity in line with their principles. 

These include:

  • Reaching the very least active disabled and non-disabled people in 'active recreation' through locality driven outreach, engagement and effective marketing.
  • Supporting disabled and non-disabled people to be active together through genuinely inclusive environments.
  • A focus on engaging people and developing workforce using the Talk to Me 10 principles.

From the beginning, GOGA has successfully used an innovative approach to engaging disabled and non-disabled people in new and varied methods of activity, and it’s still making an impact.

GOGA programmes have been hugely innovative in embedding diverse activities into their offering, including things such as boccia, Nordic walking, youth weightlifting, boxing, basketball, walking football, bowling and many more.

But the GOGA Approach goes beyond simply promoting being active. Instead, it strengthens the community spirit, increases confidence and improves mental health. 

According to GOGA’s website, 42% of participants admitted to doing no physical activity prior to GOGA, and this method and activities have been used in 35 localities across the UK.

In October this year the GOGA team launched their awareness campaign, The GOGA Way, which aims to show how their programme can help organisations do things differently.

Running for a year, the campaign will also highlight how GOGA projects use both usual activities and non-traditional physical activities to engage inactive disabled and non-disabled people in activity together.

Using the GOGA Approach, there is no focus on impairment type, or elite pathway, as these activities bring people together to be active in enjoyable ways.

And #TheGOGAWay campaign will raise awareness among organisations of the key concepts and elements that make up this approach. 

It will also encourage implementation and aid understanding of how these can be shared across new places, and it will support organisations to deliver new interventions and encourage more of the most inactive people to get involved. 

If you have any question or would like any extra info, please get in touch with our disability team or with the GOGA team.

Find out more

Get Out Get Active

Sign up to our newsletter

You can find out exactly how we'll look after your personal data, but rest assured we’ll only use it to make sure you receive our newsletter, to understand how you interact with our newsletter, and to provide administrative information about our newsletter.