Action for Sport - Case Study
Action for Sport, a charity committed to promoting sport, preventing barriers, and protecting the environment.
Action for Sport was founded in 2018 by a senior education consultant and former prison officer with a united passion for sport and the environment. The charity aims to:
- encourage people to take part in and experience the wider benefits of sport.
- remove the barrier of cost for people living in poverty, and
- recycle sports clothing, footwear, and equipment to protect the environment.
The Charity’s Co-Founder, Andrew Kenure, explains its origins and shares its story.
As a teacher, ‘I noticed that some children weren’t able to participate in PE and sport because their families couldn’t afford the sports kit they needed. Some children were even missing school on PE days to avoid the embarrassment of asking for kit from their teachers... this was the motivation we needed to establish Action for Sport’.
The charity started with members of the public, sports clubs, businesses, and other organisations donating used sports kit including boots, trainers and sports clothing that people had outgrown or no longer had a use for. The kit was checked and sanitised before being distributed to disadvantaged children in schools.
the first 6 months of their work, Action for Sport helped 4,654 families by
redistributing 2.91 tonnes of sports kit worth over £82,000. During the same
period one school in Bradford, where Action for Sport started, noted a 1.8%
decrease in children being absent from school on PE days.
Following a few well-timed conversations with potential partners, Action for Sport has grown significantly. The charity now collaborates with some of the biggest sports retailers in the world including Nike, Saucony and Asics.
for Sport’s work with these companies identified that millions of pounds worth
of kit was being returned to sports retailer’s shops by customers across the UK
each year. A lot of this kit can’t be resold but is now being redistributed to
enable people who need it the most to participate.
September 2022, the charity had helped 9,972 families through the donation of 5,729 items of kit worth £137,693. Positive benefits include
an improved health bill, improved crime statistics in beneficiary areas, persistent
absence reducing, and wider social impacts.
for Sport continues to go from strength to strength ‘We have helped 1
family, every hour, of every day, for the last 6 months’ and have ‘changed
so many lives for the better by giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy sport
and the benefits it can bring’.
its successes don’t end there...
Commitment to the planet
An estimated 90% of trainers are outgrown, but not outworn, at the point of going to landfill. Action for Sport have stepped in to reduce this waste while simultaneously helping countless children and adults in the process.
commitment to the planet is driven by the mindset that ‘We do not inherit
the earth from our ancestors; but we borrow it from our children’. By
redistributing kit to those in most need, Action for Sport saves tonnes of kit
from going to landfill or ending up as pellets for 3G football pitches.
charity audits every item it receives. Each piece of kit has an average weight
that is used to estimate the savings on landfill waste. Up to September 2022, Action
for Sport had saved 7.6 tonnes of kit from landfill.
The charity prides itself on not means testing those who request kit. Instead, they use government data for certain areas, and an online form that schools, parents, or individuals can fill out for themselves or others.
Working with Action for Sport
The network of organisations involved in Action for Sport continues to evolve. The charity has recently got involved with the Active Partnerships network.
for Sport found success in a system whereby kit requests are organised
centrally and shared with ‘national hubs’ through postcode identification. At
this point Active Partnerships receive the request and organise the storage, collection,
and redistribution of the kit to those individuals.
Active Partnerships have taken on Action for Sport’s framework and paired it with
a small grant. Active Kent and Medway have been using charity
shops to store kit for distribution and have formed stronger local
relationships in the process.
Action for Sport are keen to continue to promote their framework for other partners to conduct similar schemes across the country and would welcome any new organisations that want to work with the charity.
The charity’s currently working on the development of an app that will include educational material, access to discounted clothing, applications for donated kit, and signposting to local activities. In recognition of the digital poverty that impacts on some users, Action for Sport will continue their process of written kit requests and schools’ input to ensure kit and equipment gets to those who need it most.
Action for Sport are constantly looking to expand their group of partners operating their National Hub Network. If you would like more information about how to become involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your organisation isn’t sure where to start, why not begin by asking your participants if they have any trainers/kit that they would like to donate back to your club/group? If there are any members or participants you’re aware of that are struggling to purchase new kit, or any that have simply asked if any has been donated, you can pass them on. Alternatively, if you have lost property that hasn’t been claimed in some time, you can check it’s clean and offer it to others.
Advice to others
Andrew’s top tips for others considering getting involved in the network or doing something similar:
- Think about how much you enjoy playing. Reflect on how your decisions and actions impact the environment. Doing the right thing will help to ensure we still have a planet to play on.
- If ever it feels like too much hassle, think of the adults or children your work will impact on.
- Communicate and make friends with everyone – Action for Sport took off over countless coffees, you never know who might be able to help you.
For more information explore the Action for Sport website or watch their YouTube video here. To see how your organisation can become more environmentally sustainable and work to meet the needs of people from lower socio-economic groups visit the Club Matters resources here: