Sport is widely regarded as a key component of the cultural identity of both individuals and communities as a whole, with sports provision contributing to the quality of life within a local community. Whether participating, volunteering, supporting or watching sport, there is an intrinsic pleasure from sport and physical activity.

The core aim of Sports Development is to create and enhance sporting opportunities that lead to higher participation rates in sport, particularly amongst young people and under represented target groups. These target groups include girls and women, people living in urban areas, disabled people, ethnic minority groups and the elderly.

In recent years sport and physical activity has also been recognised as a powerful vehicle in promoting community development and tackling a range of social issues. Through carefully targeted work, sport development programmes can promote social inclusion amongst disaffected groups, promoting healthy lifestyles amongst the physically inactive and providing diversionary activities to help reduce youth crime and vandalism.

The purpose and benefits of Sports Development

Sport and physical activity has both an intrinsic value for the individual and a powerful instrumental value, in respect of the contribution it makes towards improving the quality of life within a community. Sports Development aims to provide a structured framework for the role of the in the continued development of sustainable sporting opportunities for all people living within the particular areas, which contribute to the good health and safety of our communities.

It also provides the framework that supports the need for community groups and other agencies to work in partnership to develop the sporting potential of the local community.

The intended benefit of Sports Development is to provide the strategic framework to support the enhancement of sporting opportunities, which contribute to the improved quality of life and health of our communities. More specifically sports development can:-

  • Raise the profile of sport locally and address the needs of the local community
  • Demonstrate the benefits sport can bring to improving the quality of life including –
    • Public Health
    • Community Safety
    • Social Inclusion
    • Environmental Sustainability
    • Accessibility
  • Raise the profile of sport and physical activity to encourage healthier lifestyles
  • Increase participation in community sport and create pathways to develop skills

Who is involved in delivering Sports Development activity?

Sport England

Active Partnerships (Formerly CSP’s)

Local Authority Sports Development