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London Sport Research and Funding to Tackle Inactivity in Sutton Schools

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New insights from London Sport will be used by ten schools in Sutton to help young people enjoy new activities and lead healthier and happier lives.

The research, conducted by London Sport, saw surveys completed by 1,776 students in order to understand their levels of participation, the barriers they face, and what new activities might interest them.

Lack of perceived ability (‘I’m not good at it’) was the most common barrier to participation given by less active students with more than a third (36.2%) saying it prevented them from being more active.

Just under a third (31.9%) reported a lack of time to participate in activities while 29.7% of respondents said they simply didn’t like sport or physical activity.

The research provides extremely useful insights for London Sport who are working alongside the Sutton School Sport Partnership (SSP) to deliver Satellite Clubs across all ten schools.

Each school will receive a detailed report on the findings from their students including the predominant personality types using Sport England’s ‘Under the Skin’ segmentation research.

The new Satellite Clubs will start later in the autumn and, where possible, will focus on activities selected by the respondents where swimming (31%), climbing (31%) and cycling (28%) came out as the preferred sports from a list of options.

Young people have been particularly hard-hit by the impact of COVID-19 in 2020 with schools closing in March just days before the country went into lockdown.

Children only returned to schools in September and Youth Sport Trust research has already found that over a fifth of secondary schools are offering less timetabled PE compared to pre-lockdown.

YST also reported that half of schools were providing fewer than 30 minutes of daily activity time for children, including 12% who said that there were no active minutes at all.

Megan Bevis, London Sport’s Senior Project Officer, said: ‘There’s some worrying research being published around low activity levels for children and young people and it’s vital we use this data to act before it’s too late.

‘Sport England’s Satellite Club funding will be a key tool for London Sport to engage young people across the capital and show them the huge physical and mental benefits of physical activity.

‘Speaking to young people, hearing their views, and involving them in the creation of new clubs and activities is so important and we hope that by doing this in Sutton we’ll see activity levels rise.’

London Sport has commissioned Satellite Club projects in five Local Authorities in London in addition to Sutton, each was chosen as they have high levels of inactivity, high levels of deprivation, and a low amount of Satellite Club delivery in the past few years.

An open round of Satellite Club funding is due to begin at the start of October for any schools or community groups looking to provide new opportunities for young people to get active.

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