Sport England releases fresh insight from latest Active Lives Survey

“We launched our campaign This Girl Can after research showed that a fear of judgement can hold many women back from getting involved in sport and activity, and 2.8 million women have told us they have been inspired to get active as a result. Now we need to work on attracting more women to volunteering in sport and activity, and we hope that the whole sports sector embraces that challenge.”

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Phil Smith

Issuing the latest set of figures from their Active Lives survey, Sport England releases fresh insight into the volunteering habits of the nation.

The second round of the survey was completed by 214,284 people between May 2016 and May 2017, making Active Lives the biggest most comprehensive survey of its kind.

Key findings from this survey concluded:

  • 6.7 million people (14.9% of the population) in England have volunteered at least twice in the last year to support sport and physical activity
  • Contrary to trends in the rest of the volunteering sector, men are much more likely than women to volunteer in sport
  • Male volunteers in sport are more likely to hold influential roles

The Active Lives survey, which runs 365 days a year, also asks people over 16 across England about their sport and physical activity habits. The figures published today represent the first 18 months of data collected by the new survey, so year on year comparisons are not yet available. The first set of comparable data will be available in March 2018.

The figures show a consistent picture, with 27.1 million (60.6%) people being active, meaning they do 150 minutes or more activity per week and meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines. 11.5 million (25.6%) are inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of activity a week. The Active Lives survey also shows that people from lower socio-economic groups are much less likely to be active, which is why Sport England will be targeting investment on those groups under its new strategy, Towards an Active Nation.

Commenting on the findings in the survey, Alison Howard, Chief Executive of Rounders England said:

“With an increase in participation from 89,300 to 90,500, we are pleased that Rounders is making the impact we foretold in May 2016. As an activity that appeals to the inactive and shifting our organisational focus to underrepresented groups, especially women, and children and families; Rounders is making a positive impact to the outcomes of Sport England’s strategy – Towards an Active Nation. It is our belief that this is where we can continue to have the greatest impact to encourage people to start being active.”

Article by Rounders England:

Rounders England is a non-profit sport’s national governing body (NGB) in England.
Rounders England provides a structure for the sport from the Board, local deliverers and teams right the way through to individual members and volunteers.