This paper examines the key trends in sports participation in England and places them in the broader context of social and demographic change. In doing so we can examine the challenge Sport England will face if it is to achieve the kinds of targets that are now being considered in its business plan and associated Funding Agreement with the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).
In seeking to identify ‘where we have been’, ‘where we are now’ and ‘where we would like to get to’ we make no apologies for being selective in our reference to the evidence. Other papers have explored in detail the ‘social landscape of sport’ and it is not the intention to repeat them here. In addition, this paper complements one prepared by the same authors on ‘Sport, physical activity and health: future prospects for improving the health of the nation’. In combination the two papers provide a wide-ranging perspective on sports participation, physical activity and health benefits.
The focus of this paper is on:
Where are we now – is sports participation in England increasing and becoming more diverse or decreasing and become narrower in its social profile?. This section examines the evidence on levels of participation and club membership in the population and how this varies across different social groups. It looks at regional variations and where people take part in sport.
The broader social context – what are the key drivers pushing up or pulling down sports participation over the next 20 years. In this section we look at some of the broader social and demographic trends that are likely to impact on sports participation – either positively or negatively.
Facing up to the challenge – and making a difference. In this section we examine possible targets for increasing the levels and diversity of participation in sport and look at the challenges this will entail. We suggest that public policy intervention in sport will ‘need to go where we have never been before’ if we are to drive up participation and realise our vision of making England a successful sporting nation.
Editor's comments - [ This is an academic review paper commissioned by Sport England as contextual analysis to inform the preparation of the Framework for sport in England and part of a series of desk studies called Driving up Participation: The Challenge for Sport. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>
In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : Rowe, N. Adams, R. Beasley, N. (2004). Driving up participation in sport: The social context, the trends, the prospects and the challenges. London: Sport England
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