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Sports Think Tank - Research

"A sports think tank would be a great legacy from the 2012 games, enabling future generations to benefit from long term, well researched, and evidence-based sports policy making in the UK" Seb Coe

Sports Think Tank

Sports Think Tank

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Research


Below are some of the sports policy documents from the past five years.

If you are aware of any major policy documents that aren't listed, feel free to email us and we may well add the publication to this website.


Sport + Recreation Alliance & Future Foundation, Future Trends: Innovating to Grow Participation in Sport, October 2014

Independent Report

Change can be unexpected and technology often fills gaps that you never even realised were there. The challenge for us is to discover where that next leap forward is coming from. Sport – including all types of recreational activities – are reflections of society and looking back through our recent past the evolution of many of our activities is easy to see. The challenge now is to use technology to enhance lives. With the world teetering on the precipice of a physical inactivity time-bomb – what tech can haul us back from the brink? In this report the Future Foundation, the world's leading independent global consumer trends and insight firm, presents five trends that it believes will become more and more relevant to those of us in the sector alongside examples of where sport is already innovating.


The FA, FA Chairman's England Commission: Report 2, October 2014

Governing Body Report

The Commission was set up in September 2013 to ask what, if anything, could be done about the falling number of English players playing in the top division of English football: only 32% of Premier League starts in 2012-3 were by players qualified to play for England, compared to 69% twenty years ago. Among other findings, the first report in May reported on the following obstructions: There are inadequate and insufficient competitive playing opportunities for 18-21 year old elite players at top clubs in England; Regulation of the English player market is not effective in preserving the desired balance of British, EU and non-EU players in clubs. This October report looks at following barriers to football development: England lags behind in the quantity and quality of affordable grassroots facilities; Coaching and coach development, in clubs and at grassroots, have not yet reached a satisfactory level and impact.


UK Government and Mayor of London, 'Inspired by 2012: The legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games', Second Annual Report, July 2014

Government Report

Two years on from the London Olympics, this document reports on the current status of the ongoing legacy from the event. It contains detailed accounts from five key areas of legacy: sport and healthy living; the regeneration of East London; economic growth; bringing communities together and the legacy from the Paralympics.


House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, 'Women and Sport: First Report of Session 2014-15', July 2014

Government Report

Although the reasons for participating in sport apply equally to men and women, there remain stark differences between men's sport and women's sport. This is an inquiry into the barriers to women's participation in sport and how to overcome these. The Committee collected evidence from the key organisations and individuals who are involved in women's sport to promote this issue.


The Labour Party, 'More Sport for All: Labour's Consultation on Government backing for more sport and physical activity for all ages in all areas', July 2014

Public Consultation

The shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman and the shadow sports minister Clive Efford released this public consultation to help gather thoughts from consumers of sport in the months leading up to the General Election in 2013. The report asks 23 separate questions ranging from encouraging participation in young children, to details of a proposed levy on betting companies to provide funding for grassroots sport.


Women on Boards, 'Gender Balance in Sport Report', July 2014

Independent Research

Currently there are few National Olympic or Commonwealth organising committees or sports federations where more than 30 per cent of board members are female, and the average is closer to, or below, 20 per cent. WoB was founded in Australia following the successful Olympic Games held in 2000. The impetus was the significant number of medals won by women at the Games and the paucity of women on national sports boards. This report delivers a baseline dataset on the participation of women on sports governing bodies in the lead up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It shows that women remain under-represented on the majority of sporting boards at international and national levels


WHO Europe, 'Cycling can create at least 76,600 jobs and save 10,000 lives every year in major European cities', April 2014

Press Release

This WHO press release refers to an inquiry which estimates that investing in "green and healthy transport" not only has positive health and environmental effects but is also economically profitable. It was published prior Fourth High-level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment, organized by UNECE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe in April 2014.


All-Party Commission on Physical Activity, 'Tackling Physical Inactivity - A Coordinated Approach', April 2014

Independent Research

This is the first of two reports from the All-Party Parliamentary Commission on Physical Activity, which was set up in 2013. It sets out the scale and scope of the problem, mapping out the specific areas in which need to be worked on for change. The report draws on evidence submitted from across many fields cross the UK as diverse as transport, health, education, and sport. The second report is due to further draw upon the enormous amount of evidence to detail more actions that can be taken to get the UK moving again.


Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport and Commonwealth Secretariat, eds. Oliver Dudfield,'Strengthening Sport for Development and Peace: National Policies and Strategies', January 2014

Independent Research

The research makes clear that sport by itself is insufficient to make beneficial change to development and peace, but that a well-co-ordinated multi-sectoral approach is necessary. Since sport can harm as well as empower, it is important to ensure the safety and security of participants, especially girls and women, at all times. The research tells us that both policy and programme planning, no matter how well intentioned or generous, must begin with the aspirations, needs and strengths of the intended beneficiaries, and engage them directly in the design of programmes and the monitoring and evaluation of results.


World Health Organisation, 'New WHO analysis shows alarming rates of overweight children', February 2014

Press Release

This press release from the WHO draws attention changing perception of what is viewed as normal with regards to the levels of obesity across Europe. Using the various country reports, it refers on evidence from the country reports produced to generate awareness of the 'obesity epidemic' infecting Europe and proposes solutions on what can be done about it.


Public Health England and the Local Government Association, 'Obesity and the environment: increasing physical activity and active travel', November 2013

Government Report

This briefing has been written in conjunction with the Local Government Association (LGA). It is aimed at those who work in or represent local authorities. It addresses the issue of taking action to create environments where people are more likely to walk or cycle for short journeys. It summarises the importance of action on obesity and a specific focus on active travel, and outlines the regulatory and policy approaches that can be taken.


English Federation of Disability Sport, Emma Spring, 'Disabled People's Lifestyle Survey', September 2013

Independent Research

This report outlines the key findings of the first phase of the project- a quantitative study designed to understand: what disabled people enjoy doing in their spare time; how do disabled people seek information about new hobbies and interests; which kind of people are role models, who influence opinions and attitudes; how, if at all, sport fits into their lives compared to other hobbies and interests; what are the opinions and experiences of sport, exercise and physical activity; how do disabled people interpret the terminology used within the sports sector?


British Medical Journal Open Access, Griffiths et al, 'How active are our children? Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study', August 2013

Academic

This paper describes levels of physical activity (PA), sedentary time and adherence to Chief Medical Officers PA guidelines among primary school-aged children across the UK using objective accelerometer-based measurements. Among other findings, the British Medical Journal reports that 51% of 7-year-old UK children achieve current recommendations for daily PA; this is significantly lower in girls (38%) than in boys (63%). This is also lowest in children living in Northern Ireland. The study recommends a comprehensive policy response to boost PA and decrease sedentary time among all young children to the levels appropriate for good health.


Hills, Bradford and Johnston (Brunel University), 'Building a Participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Disadvantaged Areas', March 2013

Independent Research

The Brunel research focused on learning what factors contributed to building the StreetGames participation legacy. The Executive Summary provides an overview of key findings that constitute the defining
characteristics of the StreetGames Legacy projects. This is followed by a summary of key
learning about 'what works' in planning and delivering legacy projects. The project aimed to develop a sustainable sporting legacy via an enhanced sports capacity in local communities; encourage positive behaviour change amongst participants and increase sport and physical activity levels.


House of Commons Education Committee, 'School Sport following London 2012: No more political football, Third Report of Session 2013-14 Volume 1', July 2013

Government Report

The Education Select Committee held an inquiry into school sport following London 2012, in advance of the first anniversary of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The report investigated the following: the impact and effectiveness of current Government policy and expenditure on increasing sport in schools; The scope, appropriateness and likelihood of success of the Government's plans for a school sport legacy from London 2012; The impact so far of London 2012 on the take-up of competitive sport in schools; and What further measures should be taken to ensure a sustainable and effective legacy in school sport following London 2012.


All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, 'Get Britain Cycling: Summary and Recommendations', April 2013

Government Report

Funded by NI Group Limited and the Bicyle Association, the aim of this parliamentary inquiry was "to enable more people across the UK to take up cycling, cycle more often and cycle more safely by interviewing or receiving written evidence from expert witnesses on the obstacles that must be overcome and suggesting concrete, effective measures to be undertaken by central and local government as well as the wider world of business and the third sector".


British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (Loughborough University),'The Economic Costs of Physical Inactivity', March 2013

Independent Research

The purpose of this document is to provide physical activity practitioners, commissioners and policy makers with the key facts to help them build an economic argument for the need to decrease levels of physical inactivity within the population. This evidence briefing summarises the key facts on the total cost of disease to the NHS, the cost of treating individual cases with specific diseases and the cost of disease which can be attributed to physical inactivity.


Ofsted, 'Beyond 2012 – outstanding physical education for all: physical education in schools 2008-2012', February 2013

Independent Report

Ofsted visited 120 primary schools, 110 secondary schools and seven special schools. This report draws also on evidence from four visits to schools to observe good practice in PE. It recommends actions for schools and the Department for Education to secure further improvement in the quality of physical education in schools. It also identifies the common weaknesses seen in PE and looks at what the most effective schools have done to overcome these weaknesses so that physical education is good or outstanding.


HSCIC, 'Health Survey for England 2012, Health Social Care and Lifestyles: Key Findings and Summary', January 2013

Independent Research

The Health Survey for England (HSE) is part of a programme of surveys commissioned by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. It has been carried out since 1994 by the Joint Health Surveys Unit of NatCen Social Research and the Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL (University College London). Children aged 13-15 were interviewed themselves, and parents of children aged 0-12 were asked about their children, with the interview including questions on general health and physical activity.


World Health Organisation, 'Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland', January 2013

Research

This is one of the 53 country profiles covering developments in nutrition, physical activity and obesity in the WHO European Region. This profile illustrates the statistical analysis of the increasing obesity problem that we are facing in the United Kingdom. It contains statistics ranging from nutritional values to policy commentary on what effects the levels of physical activity. The report is comparable to other national profiles across Europe.


Sport and Recreation Alliance, Syann Cox, 'Olympic and Paralympic Games: Legacy Survey', January 2013

Independent Research

This report seeks to substantiate the claim that 'sport is good for you'. The Game of Life brings together, for the first time, all of the best evidence to support those gut feelings we have about sport. But it is also even-handed, pointing out where the evidence is patchy or where more research is required. This research outlines the evidence that exists that shows how more activity can have huge effects on our society.


International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Thomas May, Spencer Harris and Mike Collins,'Implementing community sport policy: understanding the variety of voluntary club types and their attitudes to policy', October 2012

Academic

This article argues that scant attention has been directed towards the voluntary sector and its role as a delivery agent of the legacy aspirations of the London 2012 Olympics. New policies for community sport set out a clear focus on using national governing bodies and voluntary sports clubs (VSCs) to deliver growth in adult sports participation and to reduce the proportion of participants dropping out of sport by the age of 25. The findings suggest that more work is required in segmenting club types to identify their diverse support needs and the roles that they may be able to play in increasing participation and reducing the proportion of young people dropping out of sport


Sports and Recreation Alliance, 'Game of Life: How Sport and Recreation Can Help Make Us Healthier, Happier & Richer', September 2012

Independent Research

This report seeks to substantiate the claim that 'sport is good for you'. The Game of Life brings together, for the first time, all of the best evidence to support those gut feelings we have about sport. But it is also even-handed, pointing out where the evidence is patchy or where more research is required. This research outlines the evidence that exists that shows how more activity can have huge effects on our society.


American College of Sports Medicine, Access to Sport Nike Inc., International Council of Sports Science and Physical Education, 'Designed to Move:A Physical Activity Action', January 2012

Academic

Just a few generations ago, physical activity was an integral part of daily life. In the name of progress, we've now chipped away at it so thoroughly that physical inactivity actually seems normal. The economic costs are unacceptable, the human costs are unforgiveable.Designed to Move is a framework for action. It's meant for the "changemakers"—people, companies, institutions and governments with the resources to turn this situation around. It's for nations who want to invest in unleashing the human potential of their citizens.


Street Games, '£53bn cost to the UK economy of physically inactive young people: A summary of the findings from 'The Inactive Time Bomb' report'

Press Release

Street Games' press release refers to the details of its report produced in 2012, 'The Inactive Time Bomb'. This short document illustrates the scale of the physical inactivity problem with a number of statistics taken from the main report. It also includes a number of testimonials from key figures in the health, sports and education sectors.


Sported, 'Sportworks: Providing the value of sport – Summary'

Independent Research

Sported sought to find a sector-wide method of demonstrating the relationship between sport and social benefits. At the outset the organisation wanted to understand the impact of the Sport for Development sector and the cost saving being made to society. The outcome is a sophisticated IT system which assesses the impact and societal cost saving of seven of the most prolific social policy outcome areas: reducing anti-social behaviour and youth offending; improving educational performance; improving attendance and behaviour at school; reducing the misuse of drugs and alcohol; improving psychological health and wellbeing; increasing physical fitness and reducing obesity; reducing the number of NEET young people.


Oxygen Consulting in association with Precor, Ray Algar, '2011 Global Low-Cost Gym Sector Report: A Strategic Investigation into Disruptive New Segment', October 2011

Independent Research

This report's primary purpose is to illustrate how the low-cost gym sector is emerging internationally. The report draws on some of the strategic analysis from my 2010 UK Low-cost Gym Sector Report because it remains vital that readers comprehend what is driving this trend.


Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, Dr. Geoff Walters, Richard Tacon and Dr. Linda Trenberth, 'The Role of the Board in UK National Governing Bodies of Sport', September 2011

Academic

NGBs are central to the provision of sport participation opportunities and elite sport in most westernised countries. This report examines governance in the voluntary sports sector, focusing on NGBs in the UK. There are over 300 NGBs in the UK recognised by the four Sports Councils and they vary significantly across a range of factors, such as turnover, organisational structure, the number of staff, and the number of member clubs and individual members. The report seeks to understand a variety of board-specific issues including board structure, roles and responsibilities; board development; risk management and legal compliance; and board involvement in strategy.


Legacy Research Group, 'Learning Disability, Sport and Legacy: A Report on the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games Leicester 2009', June 2011

Legacy Report

This report examines the holding of the Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) National Summer Games – for people with learning disabilities – in Leicester in July 2009. For the first time, the views of the organisers, the athletes, their families and carers and the volunteer 'army' who assisted in staging the Games have been systematically collected and analysed. Taken as a whole, this project offers new quantitative and qualitative data and insights into the role of Special Olympics.


The Sport Working Group chaired by Michael de Giorgio, The Centre for Social Justice, 'More Than a Game: Harnessing the power of sport to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people', May 2011

Independent Research

This report set out to establish how sport can produce the best results for young people living in Britain's most deprived areas. Whether through participation in organised recreational activity or tailored programmes that seek to achieve specific outcomes, the overall structure of sport in this country does not reliably produce the social benefits it can unlock. Produced prior to London 2012, the research highlights the distinction between sport for its own sake and sport as a vehicle for improving the lives of disadvantaged or vulnerable young people. In some areas, notably coaching, the answers to the problems involved overlap, but this report has been written with the latter in mind.


Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, 'Changing the game for girls', January 2011

Independent Research

The UK has a problem with levels of activity, fitness and obesity. Although the figures vary, that applies to people of all ages, social backgrounds, ethnic origins and gender. But the problem is particularly critical among girls. This report presents new research that offers us the opportunity to begin to understand the causes of low levels of physical activity among girls. The project explores the views of girls – and boys – about physical activity, sport and PE, and the influence of schools, friends and families. The research points clearly to what can be done to help more girls get and stay active.


Dr. Geoff Walters, Richard Tacon and Dr. Linda Trenberth, Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, 'Good Governance in Sport: A Survey of UK National Governing Bodies in Sport', April 2010

Academic

Governance has become an increasingly important issue that NGBs in the UK have had to address over the last decade due to examples of poor management, financial failure, and increased public funding for sport that have resulted in the need for more professional sports administrative structures.This report analyses the standards of governance at UK NGBs and considers the extent to which some of the recommendations from the Modernisation Programme have been implemented


Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Camilla Nevill and Matthew Van Poorvliet, 'Teenage Kicks: The Value of Sport in Tackling Youth Crime'

Independent Research

The Laureus Sport For Good Foundation assesses the economic value of three sports projects aimed at tackling gang violence and youth crime in the UK. Each project is using sport to reach out to and engage young people at different stages along the criminal pathway. The results of the study clearly demonstrate that sport is not only a successful mechanism; it is also a cost-effective way to tackle the problem of youth crime and gang violence.


Labour Party, 'The Labour Sports Manifesto: A Sporting Britain for All', January 2010

Manifesto

The Labour Party's vision for sport policy in the UK, should it have won the 2010 General Election


Audit Commission, 'Tired of hanging around: Using sport and leisure activities to prevent anti-social behaviour by young people', January 2009

Independent Research

Sport and leisure have an important role in preventing anti-social behaviour. In this report the Audit Commission explore a wide range of cost-effective solutions to combat anti-social problems via the means of sport. These include more approachable project staff and a greater engagement with young people and parents. It also calls for a more integrated and coordinated approach to sport organisations to help address anti-social issues.