Extraordinary Starts Here.

Sports Clubs Empowered
by Participation

Background 2020 - 21:

In 2020-21, sports participation was significantly impacted by a wave of lockdown restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. For large parts of the year, all non-professional team sports were forced to be cancelled, while gyms and leisure centres were forced to temporarily close. However, a significant proportion of the population participated in at least one form of outdoor exercise, one of few activities permitted during lockdown periods, which supported the participation rate during the year. Overall, the latest Active Lives Adult Survey reports that sports activity fell 1.9 percentage points, to 60.9%.

Historically, sport participation has always been higher among employed people than the unemployed and higher for those with more disposable income. High unemployment and squeezed incomes at the start of the period constrained sports participation. There has also been a distinct shift in type of participation as skiing and golf fell out of favour and cheaper activities, such as road running. For much of the period, economic uncertainty squeezed household income which deflated sports participation rates. While sports activity has risen over the period, the level of people considered inactive (less than 30 minutes of exercise each week) has also risen, from 25.6% in 2016-17 up to 27.5% in 2020-21.

Our forecast is that people participating in sport is estimated to increase at a compound annual rate of 0.3%, with an absolute increase of 0.8 percentage points by 2025. So our be Empowered by Sport is a UK initiative to hit this projection with an increase in the number of people participating in sports at club level and as a social activity.

How it Works:

All our work is about helping everyone in the UK to get active, regardless of their age, background or ability. We do that by working collaboratively to run campaigns, award funding and build partnerships with organisations big and small.

Collaboration runs through everything we do. We partner with many organisations of all sizes in the traditional sport sector and beyond to help foster real change. 

The resources provided to our members enables them to engage with new members and retain existing members. It help's each individual club to explore opportunities for retention and growth, identify ways to approach creating new revenue streams and learn from others who have had to adapt to changing demographic profiles and events.

As with each one of our initiatives we are 'hands on' involved on and off the field of play, engaged and learning fast, adjusting and fine tuning the progression and development of each campaign and sharing in ts success.

'Empowered by Sport' is an insight-driven campaign

The UK Sports Development Association acts as a collective voice for its members to ensure the industry is at the forefront of central government thinking affecting the provisions, financial, structural and legislative for sport in the UK. 

ClubNet is a programme that supports sports clubs and organisations to deliver insight-driven and participant initiatives, plans, products and experiences. Its purpose is two fold. one to ensure that those who want to be are the best they can be in their field and secondly to provide the clubs and associations with additional revenue streams to help ensure their future.

Sporting events 2022

Sports competitons involving
UK participants


The UKSDA has created the country’s first invite only member’s residential centre for coaches and managers involved in amateur and professional sport. It is a new way for people within the industry to keep up to date with training methods and legislation.

In 2020 the UKSDA formed UK Sports Tours formed by the partial acquisition of travel brand STA Holidays. This now provides a dedicated UK tour facility for sports touring clubs to engage in competitive league, or regional and national events in addition to a host of friendly recreational matches.


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