Sported's 'Pulse' findings reveals Cost of Living fears within grassroots sport

By Sported |  30 November 2022

Sported has released the full findings from its biannual Pulse survey from Autumn 2022, taking the temperature of the issues and needs of community groups and grassroots sports clubs across the UK. And it makes clear the fears from among these organisations of the current recession.

Cost of living a threat to community groups

Heading into an economic recession and an associated Cost of Living Crisis, data compiled in October 2022 found that while 92 percent of groups are confident that they will survive the next six months, there has been a dramatic increase in challenges surrounding the funds available to young people for continued participation.

It has forced almost three-quarters of clubs to make an instant response to these financial pressures, often by reducing or removing membership fees or reducing their offering to remain solves.

But one group official said: “More young people now are finding it difficult to secure jobs and training, they feel helpless as they can see their families struggling and cannot help.

“Young people are disengaged from their own community and feel there is nothing sports-related available within the area and feel they have no outlet in order to improve their own mental health and wellbeing.”

With energy prices increasing, the threat to the longer-term viability of many facilities is shown in a funding priority for delivery costs – with a majority of organisations requiring between £1,000-9,999 to meet their Cost of Living priorities over the next two quarters.

The threat poseed is being highlighted in Sported’s current ‘Keep The Doors Open’ campaign.


Mental health and Disability concerns

Meanwhile, those surveyed within Sported’s extensive network of group rated their young people’s mental health as lowest compared with their own and their staff’s/volunteers’, underlining the importance of support in this area.

Groups identified issues for young people with disabilities as the most extensive inequality within their communities with relationships with local community organisations/sport groups factoring as the most important for supporting groups. 

Tackling Inequalities

Sported’s report is based on 517 responses received from groups in Sported’s network between 21 September – 3 October 2022.Of these, 50 percent of responses were from groups in the lowest 30 percent areas of multiple deprivation.

Sported is the UK’s largest network of community groups supporting half a million young people to overcome barriers to reach their full potential. Our role is to empower the local heroes running these groups by providing much needed professional expertise, resources, and operational support, free of charge, to help their group survive and young people thrive.

This research builds on Community Pulse consultations from Spring 2022, as well as throughout 2020 and 2021.

National and regional breakdowns are also available. For more information on Sported’s Insight and Research, email Andrew Stead at


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