LSE report: Deprived youngsters put off all sports due to cost

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams March 4, 2016 14:16

Young people from deprived areas tend not to play all sports including golf because of the costs involved, according to new research from the London School of Economics.

The cost of playing sport was identified as the biggest barrier for young people. However, there is good news – researchers found that there is a desire to do activities and have come up with recommendations that could get more deprived youngsters playing games such as golf.

hoodie neil mcintosh

Flickr / Neil McIntosh

The report, Moving the Goalposts, written by researchers from the London School of Economics’ Centre for Analysis for Social Exclusion (CASE), in association with StreetGames, interviewed 60 young people aged 14 to 25 from five of the most deprived areas in England and Wales about sports provision in their local area.

Golf was far from alone in finding it difficult to attract deprived youngsters. The report found that once young people leave school their involvement in all sports and social clubs and activities wanes. This, coupled with the finding that young people fear using green areas as sports facilities, means young people are more likely to ‘hang-out’ rather than engage in physical activity.

The report recommends that:
• School facilities be made available to wider groups in the community out of hours
• More free and cheap sport provision should be provided, with concessionary rates for over-19s
• More informal but organised activities with increased supervision to give people the confidence to go and take part safely
• More investment in solo sports
• Taster classes, community events and female-only sessions should be introduced.

“Schools could open up their facilities much more widely after school hours,” states the report. “Some schools do this. In one case in East Ham, Newham, schools cooperate with local clubs to deliver much more comprehensive sport activities.

“Both schools and clubs talk about training volunteers in order to involve young people in helping other young people as a way of motivating the community more generally. This has a big impact on young people.

“Free provision through clubs are really important, but parents are invariably worried about area conditions and level of supervision. They worry about clubs catering for a wide age band, and often do not want younger children mixing with older children. They are afraid of bad example and negative influences.

“Leaving school is a cliff edge for sport and for general involvement in clubs. The biggest barrier for over school age young people is cost.”


Emma Williams
By Emma Williams March 4, 2016 14:16
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1 Comment

  1. Peter Kook March 6, 18:59

    Same reason I tended not to take flying lessons

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