Did you know?

  • Women are more likely to volunteer within sport than men, but they are less likely to participate themselves. 
  • Many people with disabilities or long-term health conditions (LTHCs) want to be more active.
  • People over the age of 55 are much more likely to be inactive compared to younger adults. 
  • Just over half of children and young people in England don’t meet the recommended exercise levels for their age group. 
  • The fear of being bullied or of not being accepted can be a factor for LGBT+ people that choose not to ‘come out’ within the sports club or group they are part of. 
  • One third of adults on low incomes are inactive.
  • People from diverse ethnic groups are less active than those from White or mixed groups. 

The video below explores why inclusivity is important, what it means to individuals and how clubs and groups can champion this:

The video starts with a black screen which fades in to show a girl holding a white card with the Club Matters logo towards the top centre of the card, with the words ‘‘Include Me’ Video’ underneath in dark blue text. She is standing on a running track, with buildings and trees in the background. Other young people are visible behind her on the running track, talking to each other. Some ambient noise, including young people talking in the background of the shot, can be heard alongside the music. The backing track is quite slow and slightly downbeat. On the narrated version of the video, the words on each card are read out by a female voice.

The shot changes to a boy holding a card that says ‘Did you know?’. He is also standing on the running track with other young people, buildings and trees in the background.

The shot changes to a young man holding a card that says ‘29% of boys are part of sports clubs outside school, compared to 17% of girls.’. He is also standing on the running track with other young people, buildings and trees in the background. 29% and 17% are both in bold and underlined on the card.

The shot changes to a man holding a card that says ‘Low income families spend just £3.21 a week in total on active sport.’. He is also standing on the running track with young people, buildings and trees in the background. £3.21 is in bold and underlined on the card.

The shot changes to a boy holding a card that says ‘27% of people without a disability are sports club members….’. He is also standing on the running track with young people, buildings and trees in the background. 27% is in bold and underlined on the card.

The shot changes to a young man holding a card that says ‘…compared to only 15% of people with a disability.’. He is standing on the running track with young people, buildings and trees in the background. 15% is in bold and underlined on the card.

The shot changes to a girl holding a card that says ’13 million women and girls in England say they want to play more sport.’. She is standing on the running track with young people, buildings and trees in the background. 13 million is in bold and underlined on the card. The girl looks down at the card then looks back up at the camera.

The shot changes to a man holding a card that says ‘Almost half of LGBT+ people find the culture around sport intimidating or unwelcoming.’. He is also standing on the running track with young people, buildings and trees in the background. The words ‘intimidating’ and ‘unwelcoming’ are both in bold and underlined on the card.

The shot changes to a boy holding a card that says ‘A high proportion of people from ethnically diverse communities…’. He is standing on the running track with young people, buildings and trees in the background.

The shot changes to a girl holding a card that says ‘…have experienced discrimination in sport.’. She is also standing on the running track with young people, buildings and trees in the background. The word ‘discrimination’ is in bold and underlined on the card. She looks down at the card and then back at the camera.

The shot changes to a boy holding a card that says ‘If I joined a sports club or group, I might worry that…’. He is standing on a sports pitch, with some line markings visible. Behind him, a group of young people are talking to each other, playing games and running around. There are trees, a goal and floodlights in the background.  

The shot changes to another boy holding a card that says ‘I won’t be accepted for who I am…’. He is also standing on the pitch with other young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to another boy holding a card that says ‘…or because I am different to other people there.’. He is also standing on the pitch with other young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to another boy holding a card that says ‘I won’t fit in’. He is also standing on the pitch with other young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to a girl, who is standing on a sports pitch, she looks to her left as a group of young people walk past behind her. She looks back to the camera and holds up a card that says ‘I’ll be judged.’. The other young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to a man holding a card that says ‘I might not be good enough…’. He is also standing on the sports pitch with young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to a boy holding a card that says ‘…or other people will be better than me’. He is also standing on the sports pitch with other young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to a girl holding a card that says ‘Nobody will want me on their team.’ She is also standing on the sports pitch with other young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to a boy holding a card that says ‘I might get singled out if I mess up.’. He is also standing on the sports pitch with other young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to a young man holding a card that says ‘People might laugh at me.’. He is also standing on the sports pitch with other young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to another boy, who is standing on the sports pitch. The card he is holding slips through his fingers on one side as he lifts it up and he catches it. The card says ‘I’m not athletic’. Other young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to a girl holding a card that says ‘I might be the only girl.’. She is standing on the sports pitch with a group of young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to a man holding a card that says ‘The club might be too competitive.’. He is also standing on the sports pitch with young people, a goal, trees and floodlights visible in the background.

The shot changes to a young man, also on the sports pitch, who brings his card up and holds it. The card says ‘They might not make an effort to welcome me…’. Trees and floodlights can be seen in the background.

The shot changes to a girl holding a card that says ‘…or I might be ignored or left out’. She is standing on the sports pitch with some young people sitting in a group behind her. Trees, a goal post and floodlights are visible. The screen fades out to black. The backing track and ambient noise also fade out with the screen.

The screen is black and there is no audio for a few seconds, before a new track begins. The ambient noise resumes and the screen fades in to show a boy standing on an outdoor basketball court with other young people, basketball goals and trees in the background. The boy is smiling and holding a card that says ‘When I am included…I feel safe.’. The new music track is happier and more upbeat than the previous track.

The shot changes to another boy who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘I feel happy and excited.’. He is also standing on an outdoor basketball court with other young people, basketball goals and trees in the background.

The shot changes to a girl who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘I enjoy myself and have fun.’. She is also standing on an outdoor basketball court with other young people, basketball goals and trees in the background.

The shot changes to a man who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘I gain confidence and can be the best version of me.’. He is also standing on an outdoor basketball court with r young people, basketball goals and trees in the background.

The shot changes to a boy who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘I feel like people support me and care about me.’. He is also standing on an outdoor basketball court with other young people, basketball goals and trees in the background.

The shot changes to a girl who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘I get a sense of belonging...’. She is also standing on an outdoor basketball court with other young people, basketball goals and trees in the background.

The shot changes to a man who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘…and I feel like part of a community.’. He is also standing on an outdoor basketball court with young people, basketball goals and trees in the background.

The shot changes to a girl who is standing in an activity studio, which has a mirrored wall on the right. She is smiling and holding a card that says ‘Inclusion matters to me because…’.

The shot changes to a boy who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘It means people feel safe and supported.’ He is also standing in the activity studio.

The shot changes to a girl who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘It means nobody gets left out.’ She is also standing in the activity studio.

The shot changes to a man who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘It means you can meet people from different backgrounds.’ He is also standing in the activity studio.

The shot changes to a boy who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘It means everyone can be part of a team.’ He is also standing in the activity studio.

The shot changes to a girl who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘It means people can feel comfortable, no matter what.’ She is also standing in the activity studio.

The shot changes to a boy who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘It means sport is available for all….’ He is also standing in the activity studio.

The shot changes to another boy who is smiling and holding a card that says ‘…because we are all equal.’ He is also standing in the activity studio.

The shot changes to a girl standing on an outdoor basketball court surrounded by trees. She is smiling and holding a card that says ‘To help me feel included, clubs and groups should…’.

The shot changes to a boy who is smiling. He is also standing on the outdoor basketball court, and holds up a card that says ‘Find ways to reach me.’. The words ‘reach me’ are in bold and underlined.

The shot changes to a man who is also standing on the outdoor basketball court. He is smiling and holding up a card that says ‘Make sure they hear me.’.  The words ‘hear me’ are in bold and underlined.

The shot changes to a girl who is also on the outdoor basketball court. She is smiling and holding up a card that says ‘Welcome me and help me find my place.’.  The words ‘Welcome me’ are in bold and underlined.

The shot changes to a man who is also on the outdoor basketball court. He is smiling and holding up a card that says ‘Work to support me.’.  The words ‘support me’ are in bold and underlined.

The shot changes to a young man who is also on the outdoor basketball court. He is smiling and holding up a card that says ‘Show me the value me.’.  The words ‘value me’ are in bold and underlined.

The shot changes to a boy who is also standing on the outdoor basketball court. He is smiling and holding up a card that says ‘Think about how they can keep me.’.  The words ‘keep me’ are in bold and underlined.

The shot changes to a young man who is also on the outdoor basketball court. He is smiling and holding up a card that says ‘Let’s work together to make this better.’.  The word ‘together’ is in bold and underlined.

The screen changes to white and the Club Matters logo appears in the top centre of the screen. At the bottom of the screen, the Sport England and National Lottery logos appear. In between, the text ‘For more information, visit’ appears with links to the Club Matters website (www.sportenglandclubmatters.com) and Sport England website (www.sportengland.org) underneath. The music fades out as the video ends.  

Being welcoming and inclusive is a feature of many successful community sports clubs, groups and organisations. Offering a positive experience for all participants and volunteers regardless of ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, financial situation or ability benefits both your organisation and the people involved with it.  When referring to organisation we mean any community club, group or organisation that is involved in the delivery of physical activity or sport.

Promoting inclusivity and celebrating diversity throughout your organisation can support growth and sustainability by maximising your membership base and volunteer workforce. Creating and promoting an inclusive environment can help you to attract new people, as well as encourage existing participants and volunteers to stay with your organisation for longer. People may also become more likely to recommend your organisation to others. 

Research has shown that some groups are less likely than others to be participate and volunteer in sport and physical activity. The below section gives an overview of different groups with some helpful links, as well as advice on how you can find out more about the community your organisation is part of:

Ethnically diverse communities

Children and young people (CYP)

There is wide mix of ethnic groups in England. However, it’s really important to remember that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to getting people from different backgrounds participating or volunteering in sport and activity. Lots of different factors can impact this, including cultural norms and experiences of racism.

Find out more on our ‘Ethnically diverse communities’ webpage. Helpful links for further reading include Sport England’s ‘Know Your Audience - Ethnicity’ website section and their Sport For All report.

Organisations can play a role in building positive attitudes towards sport and physical activity for CYP. Whilst motivations for taking part in sport and activity can change for young people in their teens, inequalities within this group exist – girls and CYP from low income families are less likely to be active. Explore our dedicated CYP section, starting with our ‘Children and young people’ webpage.

People with a disability

People with long-term health conditions (LTHC)

There are approximately 11.5m people with a disability in England, and not all disabilities are visible. Research by the Activity Alliance shows that 4 out of 5 would like to do more sport and activity and are often motivated by looking after their health. However, only 32% feel that sport is ‘for someone like them’. Click this link below to visit our ‘Disability’ page, developed with the Activity Alliance. The Activity Alliance website also has lots of information and resources to help your organisation engage disabled people, including the 10 Principles set out in their ‘Talk to me’ report.

One fifth of the population have a long-term health condition, which can make it difficult to be active, but 69% of this group would like to do more. For further insight, visit the ‘Know Your Audience - Health Conditions’ section on the Sport England website. Also head to the homepage for their ‘We Are Undefeatable’ campaign which is run with expert partners including Age UK, Mind, Diabetes UK, the MS Society and more.

People on low incomes

LGBT+

Sport England’s yearly Active Lives Survey shows that people on lower incomes and people from lower income families are more likely to be inactive. Check out the ‘Spotlight on Lower Socio-Economic Groups’ report and the ‘Know Your Audience – LSEG’ web section from Sport England for more detail. Being financially accessible can provide affordable opportunities for your local community, so consider what different membership options you may be able to offer – visit our Membership Options page for more.

A key part of being inclusive is ensuring everybody feels safe and comfortable to be themselves. Negative attitudes towards LGBT+ people are sadly still present in society and sport, but your organisation can work to ensure that nobody has to hide a part of themselves by emphasising inclusivity through every aspect of your operations. Check out our ‘LGBT+ inclusivity’ webpage for more. You can also listen to our 3 part podcast series on LGBT+ inclusivity.

Women and girls

Older adults

Across almost every age group, females are less likely to do sport and physical activity than males. Women and girls have different motivations and challenges when it comes to taking part in sport and physical activity. Younger girls, for example, are influenced a lot by their families getting involved, whereas teenage girls are often motivated to join sports organisations for social reasons. Click the link to explore our ‘Women, Girls and Your Club’ page, developed with Women in Sport.

Research shows that our population is an ageing one, with the Office for National Statistics predicting that 20m people will be aged 60 or over by 2030. Research from Sport England also shows that you are more likely to become inactive as you get older. This can be for a range of reasons, some linked to health but also to increased work or caring commitments. For further insight, visit our webpage on ‘Older adults’. You can also visit the Sport England ‘Know Your Audience – Older Adults’ website section.


Last modified: Wednesday, 27 April 2022, 2:57 PM