How we are giving the 400,000 people who work in the sport and physical activity sector the best possible support

Our aspiration is to ensure that people who are engaged in sport and physical activity have the best possible experience.

To achieve this, the workforce must be recruited, developed and supported in the right way.

There are many organisations that are already exceptional in developing their employees to provide an excellent customer experience.

We would like this to become more widespread, so that the sport and physical activity sector is seen as a leader in customer experience and satisfaction.

The workforce is those people who are employed, or self-employed, in either a part-time or full-time capacity in sport and/or physical activity and to make the sector a leader in customer experience we've developed a plan to give the more than 400,000 people who work in the sport and physical activity sector in England – and the people they help get active – the best possible support.

Working in an Active Nation has two main objectives - to support the workforce to become more customer focused, and to develop the workforce so that it's recognised as professional.

More about those objectives and the way in which they will be achieved can be read here, while you can click the button below to download the Working in an Active Nation strategy document.

Working in an Active Nation

Professional Workforce

The Government's Sporting Future strategy identifies areas for development of the professional workforce in sport and physical activity, with the key factors being to make sport an attractive career option for the brightest and most able individuals, to give individuals working in sport access to open and transparent recruitment processes and to have clear career pathways and opportunities to develop and progress throughout their careers.

Working in an Active Nation was developed to help facilitate those key factors and produced in recognition of the major role that the professional workforce has to play in delivering the aspirations and targets outlined in our own strategy, Towards an Active Nation.

Much of the development of the workforce will be done in conjunction with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), who have more than 8,000 members and are recognised by more than 250 employer and education partners.

To find out more about them, click here, while you can also take a look at UK Coaching's latest National Population Survey report by clicking below.

National Population Coaching Survey


Good coaching has enormous benefits for both the people who take part and the people doing the coaching.

Good coaches inspire people to get active and stay active – and, importantly, good coaching is good for everyone.

Coaches are a vital part of the workforce that but, at the moment, coaching predominantly supports people who already have a regular sporting habit – which is great. These people are important, and improving their experience is a key aspiration for our new coaching plan for England.

But, for the first time, we also want to unleash the power of coaching for all the people taking their first steps to becoming more physically active. We want everybody to benefit from the support that good coaches can provide.

To see how we're doing that, download our Coaching Plan for England - Coaching in an Active Nation and our December 2018 update on how the plan is progressing visit the coaching section of our website, below.

Coaching section


Just as crucial a part in the workforce as coaches are volunteers.

Volunteers have always played a vital part in the sport and physical activity sector – without them, most activity simply wouldn’t happen.

Putting the experience of the volunteer at the heart of our efforts is a key feature of our new strategy for volunteering.

We've tended to always think of volunteering as something people do for the benefit of others. Whether it's marshalling a fun run, managing money, driving people from A to B (and back) or even washing the muddy kit on a Sunday afternoon, it’s always been those taking part that everyone focuses on.

But our new volunteering strategy is looking to change those perceptions. We want to put the experience of the volunteer and increased diversity at the heart of efforts to support volunteers.

Volunteering in an Active Nation is our strategy for putting this plan into action, while the volunteering section of our website details how we're spending £4.4 million of National Lottery funds to build a new generation of volunteers.

Volunteering section