Top Ten Participation Sports in the UK - UK - May 2009
With London’s right to host the 2012 Olympic Games having been secured on a premise of turning the UK into a nation of active sportsmen and women on the back of it, this should be a boom time for the nation’s highest-profile participation sports. But the onset of the deepest recession in generations is changing the entire social and economic landscape on which those ambitions were raised, and has brought a whole range of new uncertainties into play as a result.
Sports participation is in many ways better equipped than almost all rival leisure sectors to avoid the worst of the economic downturn, but it is by no means immune to trading down behaviours and reductions in frequency of involvement. Consumers have better access to facilities and participation initiatives are becoming more attractive as sponsorship propositions. However, the market is dominated by casual play that carries a higher risk of drop-out and may have become too closely associated with health and fitness promotion to be valued as a source of fun in its own right.
This report seeks to examine the prospects for increasing levels of participation within the UK’s ten most popular sports by assessing current patterns of play and provision, analysing consumer attitudes towards them and testing the hypothesis that: “Britons will increasingly turn to playing sport as a physical and mental escape from the financial pressures they face in the current recession.”
How important is sport to the leisure economy?
What impact is the recession having on participation in sport?
Will the London 2012 Olympics create a nation of sportsmen and women?
How can sport tackle under-representation of women within the participation base?
Which sports are most innovative in encouraging participation?
Who takes part in the different types of sport?
How varied are players’ participation choices?
Are issues around cost important determinants of participation patterns?
What are consumers’ main motivations for taking part in sport?
And what are the main barriers excluding those who do not play?
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