Scoping Exercise Into Young People’s Attitudes & Engagement In Sport

In January 2013, diva were commissioned by StreetGames to undertake a social marketing scoping project to gain insight into how to increase participation in sport amongst young people in disadvantaged communities across England.

Qualitative and quantitative scoping work took place, focussed on exploring and understanding the motivations, barriers, and opportunities to inform the approach of engaging 14-16 year males and females in deprived areas across England in sport. Qualitative research was undertaken with six focus groups at secondary schools across England. This was followed by 360 surveys undertaken by the target audience. The scoping work for this project has highlighted a number of motivators, and barriers that impact upon the target audiences’ engagement in sport.


For the target audience, limited free time, low self esteem (for females), a lack in confidence (for males and females), a negative perception of their abilities, negative experiences (especially from school), and cost, were barriers that prevented the target audience from taking part in sport outside of school.


Key motivators include, being fit and healthy, improving performance, fun and socialising, achieving personal goals, and teamwork and leadership. It is important that services are developed inline with these motivators so that they fall inline with the target audiences’ core motivations to take part in sport.

Service development

To be encouraged to attend new services, it was reflected that it would be important that if services are developed; they are local (close to school or home), take place at convenient times (straight after school, in the summer holidays, or at weekends in the morning), offer the target audience a choice of activities they are interested in, and offer the target audience value for money.

Having routine, focussed sessions is also an important aspect of how services are developed, so the target audience know where, and when they should be attending and what they should be doing. The target audience also believe that focussing on one sport allows them to improve their skills, and become better at sport as opposed to trying multiple sports.

Fun and socialising is also a key aspect of how services should be developed and promoted, because regardless of the whether the target audience considers their engagement in sport as casual, or as a way to improve their skills, fun should always be a key element.

This report has been produced to compile the findings of the scoping work. It highlights the key actionable insights alongside what interventions can be taken forward to increase participation in sport amongst the target audience.

Lotto Sport
European Union
Active Partnerships