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07 Dec 2023 298

UK Coaching welcomes latest Active Lives Children and Young People Survey

Sport England's newest data from the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey reveals a complex landscape: overall activity levels are stable as the initial recovery from the pandemic was maintained across the 2022-23 academic year, but significant challenges remain.

UK Coaching welcomes the news from the latest Sport England Active Lives Children and Young People Survey which shows that children and young people’s overall activity levels remain stable and unchanged from the last academic year and have increased compared to the first survey undertaken in 2017-18.

However, the findings also show an increase since 2017/18 in the number of children and young people taking part in no physical activity and continue to highlight some stark gender, ethnicity and affluence gaps with girls, those from less affluent families and children from ethnic backgrounds remaining less likely to be active.

Coaches will continue to play a vital role in supporting and inspiring children and young people to be active and these figures demonstrate the importance of this role in getting them back into sport and physical activity since the pandemic.

Initiatives like the UK Coaching led Play Their Way campaign launched this year, which encourages a child-first coaching approach, will further see coaches help support children and young people to develop a lifelong love for sport and physical activity.

Heather Douglas, UK Coaching's Head of Coaching and Policy said:

“Whilst the long term, overall trends since the 2017-18 first and baseline survey are positive and are to be welcomed, many of the inequalities between different demographic groups continue.  This as an important reminder that not all children have the same access and opportunities when it comes to taking part in sport and physical activity and having positive experiences.

"Great coaching has a huge role to play in helping address these issues, but we must continue to work hard alongside Sport England and other partners including through Play Their Way to make sure that these opportunities and positive experiences are accessible to children and young people regardless of gender and background.”

Each year, coaches dedicate over 200 million hours to support and inspire others to achieve their sport and physical activity goals. Many of these coaches volunteer their time, and it's imperative that coaches feel supported to develop and enhance their coaching.

Through the delivery of great coaching, we don't just see improved physical health, we also see communities coming closer together, improved mental well-being, increased social skills and confidence, and new and closer friendships, all resulting in a healthier and happier nation for both children and young people and adults.

Read the full survey on Sport England's website.

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