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Understanding participation in sport: What determines sports participation among lone parents?

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se_squareThis study reveals interesting insights about the challenges faced by lone parents. It also goes some way to suggesting practical interventions which would encourage participation. The challenge is not only prompting this change in behaviour, but sustaining it.

Sport England welcomes this research undertaken by GfK NOP, and believes that the findings will help inform those providing sporting opportunities to lone parents and indeed ‘family-based’ projects. By increasing our understanding of the barriers to participation and how to overcome them, it is hoped that the research will help shape interventions to increase participation in sport in England;

The impact of being a lone parent ;

  • Lone parents have daily struggles with having to fit in their household tasks and possibly work along with looking after their children with very little assistance. All lone parents put their own needs second to those of their child’s and the majority of their time and money was spent on their children.
  • The demands of being a lone parent meant that including physical activity into their routine was considerably difficult and this made it increasingly harder when other barriers came into play such as lack of transport and facilities.
  • Whilst sport and physical activity is a key part of all of their children’s lives, doing something for themselves was less common and not thought to be as much of a priority.


External and internal barriers

  • A number of barriers exist towards participation in sport and physical activity, the significance of which was dependent upon their current level of participation, with the ‘Always’ group finding solutions and the ‘Nevers’ finding the barriers very difficult to overcome.
  • The key external barriers were the cost of participating, the cost and provision of suitable childcare and the availability of good quality facilities accessible by public transport if they did not have their own means of transport.
  • The main internal barriers were the low levels of confidence that some lone parents had. This included feeling out of place in a sporting environment and a number of respondents who felt they were “not the sporty type”, were too overweight or unfit to participate. A large barrier was a general lack of motivation and low level of enjoyment and interest in sport or physical activity.



 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [  The purpose of this study was to understand better the barriers and motivations to sport and physical activity among lone parents and to form practical ideas that will encourage participation and therefore help inform policy interventions.  ]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>

In the text: Cryer (year)


APA reference for this document


Reference : GfK NOP, (2006).  Understanding participation in sport: What determines sports participation among lone parents? London: Sport England


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Download this file (Lone_parents_report.pdf)Lone_parents_report.pdfGfK NOP, (2006). Understanding participation in sport: What determines sports participation among lone parents? London: Sport England
Last Updated on Sunday, 19 July 2009 12:45  

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