Sport can and does help to level up communities


Our National Sports Development Plan (NSDP) looks forward over the next few years into 2025 and beyond. It is built on the talks we have had with over 150 partners and stakeholders. It has provided the focus for our activities, confirmed our vision, and provided an action plan to highlight what needs to be achieved and by when. This has involved looking at what we’ve learned so far, including from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and our response to it, with an eye on the trends that will shape the future.

The NSPD provides the road map for ensuring that under our banner to ‘Be Empowered by Sport’ we focus on the guiding principles of investing in areas of sport that need it most, developing grass root sports at local, and regional levels, making sport accessible to all


We have an important role to play to turn these aspirations into reality.

On our own, we can’t do it all – but with the continued support of our members and partners we can play a part in creating better conditions, more diverse initiatives, and greater collaboration and levels of support.

This plan is about us taking a lead, getting involved and doing what’s necessary to enable individuals, sports clubs, and associations, locally and nationally, to do their best to work with us collectively and collaboratively as a team with a shared vision.

So, we have put the framework in place, started to roll out the actions required on the work we will be doing over the next few years to help realise the biggest opportunities for progress under NSDP programme.


Where our focus is being directed

By key demographics:

(1) gender (2) young adults (3) mature adults
(4) socio-economic (5) ethnic groups (6) health concerns (7) social acceptance

Gender: Men and boys are more likely to be active than women and girls. Men and boys saw larger disruptions to their activity levels during the severe Covid-19 restrictions due to a greater reliance on organised activity, with younger men less likely to return than older males.

Young adults: People aged 16-34 have seen activity levels drop over the past few years and this has been exacerbated by the pandemic. More recently, those enjoying taking part has also fallen.

Mature adults: People aged 60+ have seen previous growth in activity levels halted and drop back during the pandemic, with no real sign of recovery. Perceived opportunity to be active and activity choice has reduced, with nearly two-thirds of this group currently reliant on walking for leisure. More recently, those enjoying taking part has also fallen.

Ethnic groups: There is variation in the levels of engagement in sport and physical activity in certain ethnic group. These ethnic groups as a whole saw perceived capability to be active fall, and this remains. The pandemic has made it disproportionately harder for some ethnic minority groups.

Health concerns: P
eople with a long-term health issues, or those with less sight, hearing loss or disabilities are now less likely to be active than those without, with activity levels decreasing sharply the more impairments any individual has. The return to activity as Covid restrictions have eased is slow. 

Social acceptance: People that experience prejudice or discrimination, such as (but not limited to) people from LGBTQ+ groups and ethnic minority groups, report that it can be a barrier to taking part in sport and physical activity.

Socio-economic: Adults from the most deprived socio-economic groups are less likely to be active, as are children from less affluent families

UK Sports Development

To achieve this over the next three years will mean we will be supporting a broad and diverse range of initiatives, working alongside our partners, networking with our members and talking with organisations to make UK sport and physical activity redefine its place in each one of us. We will be providing resources, advocating for change where something needs to be unblocked, supporting leadership and learning, and leveraging action through funding, tools, inspiration and ideas that are easy to use and share.

Be Empowered by Sport is an initiaitve which aims to increase participation in sport, strengthen social inclusion and promote the voluntary activities of marginalised, socially excluded youth in UK. 

Future proof your club and your sports people through an integrated approach to recurring sources of funding.


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