Research reports and resources

This section of the website is dedicated to reports and resources from other organisations that cover topics which might be of interest or use to our members. You might also want to take a look at our Facts and Figures on Sport and Recreation in the UK.

Websites and research databases

Sport England Research

Sport England has a range of research pages focusing on both its research and relevant research by others. Research topics covered include participation, sport satisfaction and the economic value of sport.

DCMS The Culture and Sport Evidence Programme (CASE)

CASE aims to provide the Government with information on how best to deliver high quality culture and sporting opportunities to the widest audience and generate positive outcomes for society. The CASE website highlights the latest research releases as well as links to its database and other resources and toolkits relevant for culture and sport.

Institute for Volunteering Research Database

An easy-to-use searchable database of research, reports, bulletins, publications and journal articles on volunteering. It contains over 200 entries and can be searched by keywords or themes.

Research on participation in sport and recreation

DCMS (2011) Taking Part: The National Survey of Culture, Leisure and Sport –Jan-Dec 2010 Statistical Release, London, UK Statistics Authority

Statistical worksheets and reports covering national estimates of adult engagement with sport, libraries, the arts, heritage and museums and galleries. This statistical release also includes analysis on volunteering and digital participation in our sectors and a look at cycling and swimming proficiency in England.

Sport England (2011) Active People Survey 5

2010/2011 data on adult participation and volunteering in sport and recreation as well as satisfaction with sporting provision. Active People Survey 1 took place between October 2005 and October 2006 allowing for a picture of participation to build up over time.

James MacDougall (2007) Towards a Better Future for Youth Sport,

A comprehensive review of sport in the UK at the time. This report explores the structure of sport, the role of school sport, voluntary sports clubs, volunteers and coaching, national governing bodies and local authorities before making policy recommendations.

Research on the value of sport (economic and social)

The Young Foundation (2012), Move It: Increasing Young People's Participation in Sport

Move It examines participation in sport and physical activity in England and in particular why more young people aren’t being active. Calling for a youth centred sports policy, co-ordinated delivery of sport, leverage of current funding streams and better use of data tracking the report makes succinct but radical recommendations for the sector

New Philanthropy Capital (2011), Teenage Kicks, The Value of Sport in Tackling Youth Crime, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

This research applies the principles of economic analysis to three projects using sport to tackle youth crime in different ways. These form the basis of an examination of the case for investment in high quality, well-run sports projects, which can facilitate young people's engagement in wider programmes of education and support.

Sport England (2010), The Economic Value of Sport in England 1985-2008 Sheffield, SIRC

Research into the economic importance of sport in England in 2008
with comparisons against estimates since 1985. This report covers income and expenditure flows, consumer spending on sport, sport related output and sport related employment. Comparisons are also made between regions.

Research on sport and health

The Information Centre (2011) Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England, 2011

A statistical report providing information on obesity, physical activity and diet, drawn together from a variety of sources. This research looks at overweight and obesity prevalence among adults and children; physical activity levels among adults and children; trends in purchases and consumption of food and drink and energy intake; and the health outcomes of being overweight or obese.

O’Donovan G, Blazevich AJ, Boreham C et al., ‘The ABC of Physical Activity for Health: A consensus statement from the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences’ Journal of Sports Sciences (2010), vol. 28, issue 6

The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences utilised a panel of experts to conduct detailed literature and evidence reviews which shape this guidance on the relationship between physical activity and health in 2010. The guidelines focus on advice for all healthy adults (A), beginners (B) and conditioned (C) fit adults, making this a broad paper on physical activity and health at present and a useful reference to further research.

Travel Actively (2010) Annual Review 2010

Travel Actively is a consortium of leading walking, cycling and health
organisations who are committed to enabling over 1.8 million people to be more physically active by 2012. The 2010 Annual Review is full of case studies and facts around the benefits of physical activity for health and wellbeing, including a focus on volunteering. 

Research on major sporting events

University of Leicester and De Montfort University (2011) Learning Disability, Sport and Legacy: A Report by the Legacy Research Group on the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games, Leicester 2009

An exploration of the Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) National Summer Games in Leicester in July 2009 in relation to the value of sport for the learning disabled and their families and carers, financial and organisational problems posed to host cities, public and media awareness of learning disability, the critical role of volunteers and the volunteer programme and the challenges of sustaining a viable Games legacy.

Alison Doherty (2010) 'The volunteer legacy of a major sport event' Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events Vol. 1:3 2010

A research study into the volunteer legacy of the 2001 Alliance London Jeux du Canada Games. The report aims to identify the aspects of the event that shaped voluntary action in the host community after the event. Through social exchange theory (where people weigh benefits and risks of social relationships with the aim of continuing only relationships that maximise benefits and minimise costs to themselves) this article assesses the positive and negative experiences of the event for volunteers as predictors of future behavioural intentions.

European research

DCMS (2011) International Comparisons of Public Engagement in Culture and Sport, Economic and Social Research Council

A discussion of comparative research on public engagement in sport and culture, using recent Eurobarometer, Eurostat and other data to produce initial findings on cultural attendance and sports participation.

For more research take a look at our Facts and Figures on Sport and Recreation in the UK or view our research homepage

To receive the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s free daily sports news summary, a round-up of the day’s most interesting and informative news articles on sport and recreation, including links to original sources, email