Sport England is in the business of creating sporting habits for life. Between 2012 and 2017 Sport England will invest over £1 billion of National Lottery and Exchequer funding in organisations that can help people get the sporting habit, create sporting opportunities for young people and nurture and develop talent by providing the right facilities in the right places.
In 2014 Sport England entered into a three year relationship with YouthSight in order to help them get the research they needed to make the right strategic decisions to ensure their funding spent most effectively.
The first installment of research conducted by YouthSight was driven by Sport England’s observations that many projects have aimed to increase the number of young people playing sport. And a high proportion of young people regularly take part in sport. But that the rate of participation in sport has historically been fairly flat.
Sport England realized that they needed to better understand how to motivate and influence young people (who are at a critical ‘moment’ in terms of developing (or rejecting) sporting habits for life. Sport England understood that when it comes to targeting young people for participation, one size does not fit all. Different types of people have different types of motivation.
YouthSight was given the task of delving into the personalities, behaviours, attitudes and aspirations of young people. The result was a major piece of work which has culminated the recent publication of Sport England’s ‘Under the Skin’ pack , which breaks down young people into six key “personas”. Each persona is further broken down into a series of key traits, based on extensive research talking to scores of young people.
By understanding these various groups Sport England will be able to design the best possible programmes to get young people active.