Sport and faith groups

Faith has an influence on sports take-up, especially among some groups of women.

30 June 2017

People who state they have no religion are more likely to take part in sport.

Analysis carried out in 2012 on Active People Survey data (APS 6 Q2 results) showed participation is also high among Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist men. But it is much lower for women of the same faiths, compared with the overall female population.

There are also notable differences among different sports. For instance, badminton, basketball and cricket all have higher take-up rates for Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh and Muslim faiths as compared with those stating a Christian faith or no religion. In football, however, this rate is the same as for people stating no religion.

Sport and the Church

Sport England, working with the Diocese of London, engaged Substance in 2014 to undertake primary research to enhance our understanding of the potential assets that the Church holds for sport in terms of places, opportunities and community reach.

The Diocese of London has recently launched its strategic intent: Capital Vision 2020. One of the 10 priorities within this Strategy is to engage more deeply with sport and the creative arts to reach new people and places by opening up church buildings, strengthening the links between schools and their local community and getting more young people involved in the local Christian community.

To read more about the research, download the summary below.