Sportivate projects are targeted at 11 to 25 year olds but when aiming to engage inactive young people in sport and physical activity, we need to look into what these young people actually want from sport and how we can adapt as deliverers to engage them.
A 2014 Sport England review into young people’s lives found sport needs to adapt how it presents itself to broaden its reach and increase the proportion of young people regularly participating:
- Young people’s behaviours do not always reflect their attitudes to sport – we need to focus more on changing behaviours and less of changing attitudes
- Many young people take part in sport/activity for more functional or lifestyle reasons – keep engaging them and providing feedback on what actually matters to them not what matters to sport
- Sport can provoke strong emotional responses. Whilst the activity can be sport, the message that sells it doesn’t have to be. Levelling the playing field can also help overcome the emotional baggage of sport
- Sport often has to compete or connect with wider interests or priorities. Young people respond well to meaningful experiences; those which benefit them as an individual, reinforce their place in their social group or help them develop
- The supply of sport tends to reach those already engaged. Young people, particularly those in their late teens/early 20s, need to feel the community sport offer is specific enough to their needs and fits with their lives
We recommend that all Sportivate deliverers read through the Sport England Youth Insights Pack for more information regarding what young people want. Below is also a short Living Sport summary of the Youth Insights Pack, detailing key points to be drawn from it. We have also delivered a 30 minute Webinar focussed around How to Engage Young People in Your Sportivate Project, which is extremely helpful for potential Sportivate deliverers; aiming to break down the Youth Insight and make it more relevant for deliverers.
If you would like any further support regarding your Sportivate project then please contact Tom Harwood Telephone: 01487 849913, Email: Sportivate@livingsport.co.uk