Individual development

Evidence clearly shows that being active improves educational behaviour and attainment, through greater self-esteem, confidence and direct cognitive benefits

Young man punching punchbag

We know through work already funded by government and from speaking directly to people how powerfully sport can affect an individual’s development more broadly. It can have a positive impact on a person's employment opportunities and sport can have a positive role in supporting those who are not in employment, education or training. 

We want to make sure that public investment in sport recognises and encourages the broader benefits of sport to the individual, in particular the behaviours and skills linked to employment through improvements in perceived self-efficacy. 

Successful individual development is to be measured by the percentage of the population reporting positive perceived self-efficacy.

To help measure the impact of sport and activity on individual development, we'll use our Active Lives Adult Survey

The Evidence

Individual development has a substantial evidence base. It includes evidence of improved educational attainment, either directly (improved grades, school engagement, behaviour and reduced absenteeism), or indirectly (by enhancing skills such as self-control and concentration, team working and time management).

Positive impacts on employability include greater employment opportunities, earnings, job performance and job satisfaction. The evidence around young people not in education, employment or training shows the positive impact of taking part in sport or volunteering in terms of employability, but only a very small number of sources address this.

Evidence shows a positive association between sport and physical activity and self-efficacy (for example motivation, goal setting and commitment), for groups including elderly people and disaffected young people. Other evidence includes an increased willingness to volunteer and the development of soft skills, such as integrity, responsibility and leadership.

There are clear benefits to organisations creating their own projects to assist in individual development and we're fully supportive of this. 

Creating your own project for individual development

We have created a tool to help evaluate the effectiveness of your own project to assist with individual development. The Sport England evaluation framework has been developed to evaluate funding streams and projects effectively and help you get maximum value from measurement and evaluation (M&E).

It's designed to provide users with easy-to-follow guidance and resources to help you develop your own approach to measuring and evaluating work undertaken. Building the six steps of the framework into programme planning and implementation will assist users in getting the most from M&E.

What your project could achieve

  • Impact on employment opportunities
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem
  • Development of soft/social skills
  • Educational behaviour and attainment
  • Increased self-efficacy
  • Reductions in anti-social behaviour.

Things your project could include

  • Monitoring and feedback on progress (helping people to see development)
  • Avoiding conditions that might facilitate anti-social behaviour (eg the way that competition is organised or through increased alcohol consumption).

Get in touch

Details of our available funds can be found here.

If you've got a project or an idea that impacts on individual development and you want to share it with us, please email funding@sportengland.org, or call us on 0345 850 8508.