Community Pulse February 2021 Results

By Sported |  11th March 2021

The challenge of re-engaging young people and the need to find funding are biggest concerns for community sports groups, new research finds.

The latest piece of research on the impact of Covid-19 on grassroots sports, carried out by Sported, has found that although 86% are confident their group will survive the next 6 months, they are most anxious now about getting support in funding opportunities (26%) and in keeping participants active/stimulated (14%).

Many groups have had no or very little income over the last year and face increased running costs with the imminent re-opening of grassroots sports groups on 29 March in England – with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland thought to follow shortly after. The leaders from community groups are clear that their priorities now are very similar to the support they think they will need for the near future. 26 % of group leaders say that their priorities for the next few weeks will also be working on funding applications.

 Furthermore, anxiety around re-engaging young people is thought to be a real problem that will remain for a while. 25% of group leaders say their priority for the next few weeks is connecting with participants and supporting their wellbeing.

The strain is starting to take its toll on group leaders. The average reported anxiety score for the leaders of community organisations was 4.1, which is 1 full point higher than the UK average. They are worried about their own mental and physical health as well as their young participants.


“Anxiety levels remain high among our group leaders, for themselves, their young people and their organisations. This research shows it to be higher than the UK average. Community group leaders require a lot of support to get back to where they were supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of young people.

Sported is here to help and guide groups and support them on that journey, particularly by continuing to highlight relevant funding and offering support in filling in these applications.”

– Nicola Walker, Sported CEO

Between January and February 2021, Sported asked community groups in its network to complete an online survey to highlight their concerns about the future of their organisation and the type of support they needed going forward. With 160 responses, the groups highlighted their worries surrounding finance and funding, as well as engaging their young participants after such a long time apart.