Our Story

The Youth Sport Trust was established in 1995 and in 2020 we celebrated our 25th anniversary. Find out more about our story below.

  • A TOP start (1995)

Sir John Beckwith sets up YST as a charity. We pilot our first ‘TOPs’ sporting programmes for children and a national rollout follows through our network of specialist tutors.

  • Developing young leaders (1997)

We host our first youth leadership camp, equipping young people with the confidence and skills to lead inclusive sport. This paves the way for our Step Into Sport Camps and later the Young Ambassadors programme.

  • Delivering school sport strategy (2002)

We’re appointed to deliver government’s PE, School Sport and Club Links strategy. By 2008 we’ve helped create 450 School Sport Partnerships across England.

Two young people with thumbs up

School Games National Finals race


  • Athletes changing lives (2003)

Our Changing Lives concept pioneers using elite world-class athletes as mentors to inspire children. This is brought to life as we partner with Sky Sports to launch Living for Sport which runs for 14 years reaching over 500,000 young people.

  • First UK School Games (2006)

1,000 talented young athletes – including Ellie Simmonds – compete in the four-day multisport event held in Glasgow. In 2012 we take the School Games to the Olympic Park ahead of the London Olympics.

  • National School Sport Week (2008)

We launch the annual summer celebration of PE and school sport which is joined by thousands of schools all over the country.

  • Fastest improving schools (2010)

Government appointed YST to support Sports Colleges within the Specialist Schools programme back in 1996. Figures released in 2010 show them to be the fastest improving schools in the country.

  • International legacy (2012)

YST International supports the delivery of International Inspiration, the legacy programme of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, using sport to enrich the lives of over 25 million children in 20 countries.

  • PE and Sport Premium for primary schools (2013)

We help ensure the continuation of the PE and Sport Premium, with government pledging to extend the funding to schools to 2020. Our school guide forms part of the National Physical Literacy Framework.

Group of young Asian young people


Girls Active Coaches Camp 2019


  • Girls Active (2014)

Launch of our pioneering programme to raise girls’ participation in sport and PE. Delivered with Women in Sport and This Girl Can through Sport England National Lottery funding, it reaches 50,000 girls by 2017.

  • Play Unified (2016)

We partner with Special Olympics GB to tackle intolerance to children with intellectual disabilities through creating inclusive environments for sport in schools. It reaches almost 30,000 children in two years.

  • Active 30:30 (2017)

In response to the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan we launch Active 30:30 to help schools reduce sedentary behaviour and increase young people’s physical activity outside of timetabled curriculum PE.

  • Believing in Every Child’s Future (2018)

We launch our new four-year Strategy ‘Believing in Every Child’s Future’ to ensure that every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and enjoy the life-changing benefits that come from play and sport.

  • Our 25th Anniversary (2020)

COVID-19 lockdowns shine a light on the importance of our mission and vision more than ever before. National School Sport Week at Home provides the opportunity for people to virtually connect through sport.

National School Sport Week at Home marketing banner