Sported launch 2020-21 Strategy

By Sported |  17th February 2020

This year will mark the 12th anniversary of Sported. Over those 12 years we’ve seen real progress in the acceptance of the transformative power of sport, but there are increasing challenges facing by young people and communities:


– Poverty – 4.1 million children now live in poverty, and life expectancy between the richest and poorest is widening.

– Crime – Police-recorded knife crime has risen 57% between 2013 and 2018.

– Health – Obesity has almost doubled in 20 years with 28% of children aged 2 to 15 overweight or obese. 1 in 10 children now have a mental health diagnosis and 1 in 4 an undiagnosed mental health issue.

– Social Trust – Only 45% of people trust many of the people in their neighbourhood


Underrepresented groups face huge levels of inequality:


– Just 40% of disabled people feel they are given the opportunity to be as active as they would like to be

– Only 10% of girls 13-16 meet the recommended Chief Medical Officers activity levels

– 40% of BAME participants say they have endured negative experiences in sport and physical activity settings


Youth provision and facilities are being decimated across the UK.


Over the last 10 years, 750 youth centres and more than 4,500 youth workers have been lost  and spending on youth services in England and Wales has been cut by 70% in real terms.


The majority of community sport groups in the UK are under-funded and under-resourced; often run on shoestring budgets by only a handful of dedicated staff and volunteers. 54% of people are concerned that their community sports club would struggle to stay running over the long-term without support from external organisations.


An analysis of Sported’s members highlights why community sports groups are so vulnerable:


– 53% are entirely run by volunteers

– 24% have an annual income of less than £5,000

– 45% are based in the 30% most deprived communities in the UK


Typically community groups are richer in non-financial resources than financial ones. When members join Sported, by far the main areas in which they request help are finance and business planning.  49% report funding as their biggest barrier to sustainability.


Despite the challenges, Sported members continue to provide opportunities for  young people in their communities; making a real difference to their lives. We estimate that our members are reaching and engaging around 480,000 young people across the UK.


Why are they so effective?


– Community groups and their staff and volunteers are trusted by young people and local residents

– They’re plugged into local support networks such as schools, Police, faith organisations and other community groups

– Staff and volunteers have a deep understanding of the social challenges young people face

– They offer holistic support


Sported’s role, with the support of our amazing professional volunteer team, is to strengthen groups’ effectiveness and sustainability so they can continue to deliver great work within their communities. Our founding vision remains; to improve the lives of people facing disadvantage and inequality, and our new strategy will continue helping community groups survive, to help young people thrive.


The strategy will run from April 2020 until March 2021 and intends to serve our community groups through fully funded projects, to reach, include and inspire individuals through the sustainable local provision of sport. We will prioritise serving our members, collaborating with others, and prospering as a charity. We will do so by focusing on our dedicated people (both staff and volunteers), our data-driven insight, and delivering optimal performance.


Check out Sported’s 2020-21 Strategy


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