This page gives an overview of some of the research resources that we have produced, with helpful links to help you fully explore the area you're interested in


We are scrupulous about the accuracy and independence of all research commissioned. We have produced a number of research materials into key priority areas, and our links to our insight packs, reports, and other research materials can be found below.


We evaluate our investment programmes to gather learning that improves outcomes for existing and future projects. Evaluation reports demonstrate and explain impact and return on investment, increase our insight and support advocacy for further investment in sport.

We have designed an Evaluation Framework to help our colleagues and partners to evaluate funding streams and projects effectively, and to get maximum value from measurement and evaluation.


The tools listed are designed to interrogate the complex datasets we produce, and help make sense of the sport and active recreation landscape at both a national and local level.

Evaluation: Active Colleges

Active Colleges is a £25 million Lottery investment ring-fenced to benefit students in further education colleges. The aim is to increase FE students’ regular engagement in sport.

Read the latest report or find out more information here.


Evaluation: Active Universities

In 2011, Sport England invested £8 million of Lottery funding over 3 years into 41 projects as part of Active Universities. The projects were focused on encouraging students to try new sports, and to continue to play sport throughout their time at university.

Read the final report and find out more here.

Evaluation: Active Women

The Active Women Programme was designed to increase the amount of sports activity undertaken by women living in disadvantaged areas and women caring for children under the age of 16.

£10m of National Lottery Funding was used to support 20 projects across England for three years from 2011.

The Active Women reports are available on this page.

Evaluation: Clubmark

Clubmark is the universally acknowledged cross sport accreditation scheme for community sports clubs.

It is based on criteria which must be supported by specific evidence. Find the latest report here.

Evaluation: Community Sport Activation Fund

The Community Sport Activation Fund (CSAF) is our investment of £47.5 million of National Lottery revenue into local projects that aim to increase and sustain once-a-week participation in sport for people aged 14 and above. 

Funding was awarded across five rounds via grants ranging from £50,000 to £250,000. 158 projects received CSAF funding across rounds one, two and three, which are covered by this evaluation.

Download the final evaluation report and case studies

Evaluation: Evaluation Framework

This resource aims to help our colleagues and partners to evaluate funding streams and projects effectively and get maximum value from measurement and evaluation.

It does not set out in detail which data to collect for each of our programmes  the specific requirements are set out in each prospectus and award agreement. Nor is it intended to replace systems and tools you already have in place.

It is designed to provide you with easy-to-follow guidance and resources to help you develop your own approach to measuring and evaluating your work.

Click here to access the Evaluation Framework

Evaluation: Get Healthy Get Active

The Get Healthy Get Active programme invests Lottery funds 31 projects across the country, with the purpose of tackling inactivity.

The programme is supporting pilot initiatives demonstrating how sport can best contribute to improving health, and at the same time increase the number of people taking part in sport regularly.

Find the latest report here and find more information about Get Healthy Get Active here.

Evaluation: Inclusive Sport

The Inclusive Sport programme aims to increase the number of disabled young people (aged 14+) and adults regularly playing sport.

In the first round 44 projects benefited from over £10 million of Lottery investment. A second round awarded a further £8.2 million to another 44 projects.

Please find a summary of the latest report here.

Evaluation: School Games

The School Games is an exciting, fully inclusive competition for school children in England, motivating, enthusing and inspiring young people to take part in more competitive school sport.

There are four levels of competition: in schools, between schools, at county / area level and a national event for the most talented school age athletes.

Located here is the 2013 evaluation summary. Find out more information about the School Games here.

Evaluation: Short Active Lives tool

The Short Active Lives Survey is our preferred evaluation tool for measuring adult physical activity. Please read the supporting materials for more information. You can also try the survey for yourself here.


Recommendation paper

Frequently Asked Questions

Research Report

Short Active Lives questionnaire

Excel scoring tool

Evaluation: Sport Makers

Sport Makers was part of the Places People Play Programme designed to deliver a mass participation sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The project trained and supported 50,000 volunteers to increase opportunities available for people to participate and volunteer in sport and physical activities.

Find the evaluation report here.

Evaluation: Sportivate

Sportivate is a £56 million Lottery funded London 2012 legacy project that gives 14-25 year-olds who are not regularly active in sport access to six-to-eight weeks of free or subsidised coaching in a range of sports.

See the latest report, or get more information here.

Evaluation: Sport Outcomes

The Sport Outcomes Evidence Review can help you understand and demonstrate to others how sport and physical activity contribute to the Government strategy outcomes

It can also inform how you set up your project to maximise impact on the outcomes.

Find out more here


Insight: Active Lives Survey

Our Active Lives survey is a new way of measuring sport and activity across England.

The survey started data collection in November 2015, and, like its predecessor the Active People Survey, The Active Lives Survey will measure the number of people aged 14 and over taking part in sport. Leading research company IPSOS-MORI carry out the survey for Sport England.

Find out more about our new survey here.

Insight: Guide to Research

Working with research agency 2CV, we've produced a guide for organisations who are considering doing research.

Insight is only as good as the research that underpins it – so this guide is designed to help you carry out top-quality research that has a big impact on your organisational goals.

The guide is split into two parts – firstly, an introduction to research itself and secondly, how to choose your methodology.

This guide is a useful resource to draw on as you plan and develop your research programmes in this exciting new era for sport and physical activity.

Find out more and download the guide.

Insight: HE Insight Pack

In the 2012-17 Sport England Youth and Community Strategy, Sport England showed its commitment to working in partnership with the HE sector and set itself an objective of three quarters of university students aged 18-24 will get the chance to take up a new sport or continue playing a sport they played at school or college. 

To find out more about our work in this area, click through to the University sport activation fund page, or download our HE Insight pack which contains insights into student participation in sport and how they can be used to shape delivery.

Insight: Mapping Disability

Our disability insight draws together, from a range of sources, information about disabled people; from demographics, their participation in sport, motivations, barriers and wider influences such as values, self-perceptions and status.

Information to help you will be released in a series of resources and they can be found via our Mapping Disability pages.

We have also published disablity infographics to show how Sport England invests in disability sport, who takes part, and more. Find the full range of infographics here.

Insight: Satisfaction with Sport Survey

Between 2009 and 2012, Sport England conducted the Satisfaction with the quality of the sporting experience survey, which provides a detailed breakdown of responses in 10 factors for every sport, such as value for money, facilities, social opportunities and performance. Find the full report and conclusions here.

We also surveyed people who are playing less sport or have stopped altogether. to find out why people drop out of sport, download the report here

More information about the survey can be found on this webpage.

Insight: Small Area Estimates

How does participation vary within a local authority? Sport England has developed small area estimates for the 6,791 Middle Super Output Areas (MSOAs).

Find out more here

Insight: The Outdoors

In June 2015 Sport England commisioned a report into the demand and supply of outdoor provision, which takes an in-depth look at the profile of the outdoor consumer. This report was produced in partnership with the Outdoor Industries Association (OIA).

Find out more about the study here.

Insight: Women's Insight Pack

Ahead of the start of the second phase of This Girl Can, Sport England publishes its new women’s insight pack: Go Where Women Are.

The insight pack explores our current understanding of women, their relevant motivations, barriers and triggers to getting more active, and what this means for sports and exercise activities and initiatives.

Find out more by clicking here.

Insight: Youth Personalities

Working with research agency YouthSight, we've delved into the personalities, behaviours, attitudes and aspirations of young people.  

They're compiled in our comprehensive pack, Under the Skin, which breaks down young people into six key personas. Each persona is broken down into a series of key traits, based on extensive research talking to scores of young people. 

By understanding these various groups can we design the best possible programmes to get young people active. 

Download the pack here.

Insight: Youth Insight Pack

A 2014 Sport England review into young people's lives found sport needs to adapt how it presents itself to broaden its reach and increase the proportion of young people regularly participating.

Find out more here.

Tool: Active People Interactive

The Active People Interactive Tool is our unique and valuable resource to help unlock the potential of APS data, allowing you to create your own tailored analysis to better understand:

  • who takes part in sport and physical activity (demographics)
  • The different sports and activities people take part in (football, golf, gardening etc.)
  • how they do so (volunteering, clubs etc.)
  • where (from the national picture down to local authority level).

You can change how your results are displayed, tailor your analysis, or export the results as a .CSV file (compatible with Microsoft Excel)

Find out more about the tool here.

Tool: Economic Value of Sport – local model

All local authorities in England can now demonstrate how sport benefits their economy using our new Economic value of sport – local model.

The model produces area based (local authority, county sport partnership and local enterprise partnership) estimates on sports’ contribution to the local economy in the form of business output (GVA) and jobs plus wider benefits like health. The model also allows you to refine some of the results by using local information you may have available. In addition you can begin to assess the impact of sport investments too – for example, what additional economic value is created as a result of an increase in participation in your area.

Find out more and register to use the tool here.

Tool: Small Area Estimates

How does sports participation vary within a local authority? Sport England has developed a tool which enables users to view small area estimates of participation for every local authority in England.

The tool enables users to display a map of small area estimates for two different definitions of participation, 1x30 sport and Sport and active recreation (formerly NI8). The technical report is available here

Contact us

For any other queries you can contact our Research team at: