Cost of kit an issue in participating in grassroots sport

By Sported |  10 May 2024

New research from Sported has thrown a spotlight on how having the right kit to play in forms a significant role in driving participation in sport.

And the study, commissioned by leading household cleaning brand Cif, spotlights how financial constraints and cost of living challenges that make the right gear hard to afford can become barriers to taking part.

The ‘role of kit in community sports’ showed that 98 per cent of respondents signalled that sports and physical activity boosts confidence and playing in the right kit has a role to play in that.

However 87 per cent of those polled also “strongly agreed” that families face

financial barriers, cost-of- living challenges, to accessing kit, including footwear.

And that threatens participation and staying active. 74 per cent of those who answered the survey declared that young people were “less likely to participate” when they lacked the correct kit.

In-depth interviews from Sported’s Insight team showed that the barriers led to a sense of shame or embarrassment, or stigma.

It was also raised that while families are struggling with the cost of core bills, kit for children cannot be a priority.

Sported’s Head of Insight, Emma Heel, said: “We are seeing an increased demand for support from clubs/groups while they are faced with the challenge of increased difficulty of getting funds or sources of support to meet that demand.

“That results in an increased workload for groups too.”

This research project was commissioned by Cif to provide insights for its Re-Kicks campaign, a nationwide initiative that is collecting second-hand, unused football boots and re- distributing them to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK.

Download the full report here

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