Our impact 2023

About the
Youth Sport Trust

We are a children’s charity, founded in 1995 to harness the power of play and sport in children’s education and development.

Our vision

A future where every child enjoys the life-changing benefits of play and sport

Our Mission

Equip educators and empower young people to build brighter futures


We create opportunities for everyone to belong and achieve

Introduction from our CEO

The challenges we face

Unhappy young boy with head in hands



of children aged 8 to 16 in England have a probable mental health disorder in 2023

Unhealthy young girl looking sad in bed



of year six and 10.1% of reception children in England are obese and rates are higher than before the pandemic

Distracted young boy, head resting on arm, aimlessly looking at a computer screen

More distracted


of parents believe that children are spending too much time online and not enough time with each other in person

PE, school sport and physical activity bring a wide range of benefits to address these challenges...

Physical healthMental health
Social wellbeingBrain function

Schools are uniquely placed to provide opportunities for physical activity for young people, shaping their attitudes to PE, school sport and activity and helping them to develop life-long habits.

However, we’re not currently unlocking this potential.


(less than half) of young people in England are meeting minimum physical activity levels.

Download the PE and School Sport Report 2023 which brings together in one place the latest research, evidence and insight on the importance and impact of Physical Education (PE), school sport and physical activity.

Unlocking the potential of sport and play by listening to young voices

During the 2022/23 academic year…


practitioners were trained to provide high quality inclusive PE and School Sport


young people took part in an activity made possible by the Youth Sport Trust


young people were trained to be leaders to their peers

*This figure does not include young people participating in the School Games and affiliated programmes (Change4Life and Leadership Academy). This exclusion along with Sport England's change in investment policy means participation figures have dropped year on year.

Group of girls taking part in  Shooting Stars girls' football programme


young people participated in our national girls' football programmes

100% Female
31% Ethnically Diverse Communities
10% Special Educational Needs and Disability
18% eligibility for Free School Meals

Group of young people sat on the floor working on a problem together


young people participated in our targeted interventions

50% Female
40% Ethnically Diverse Communities
45% Special Educational Needs and Disability
38% eligibility for Free School Meals

To align with the academic year, this report will focus on the work of the charity over the 2022/23 academic year. Previous reports have worked on a calendar year basis and so for this year, there will be cross-over with the key activities reported in the 2022 impact report.

Performance against our strategy


In 2022 we launched our new 13 year strategy Inspiring Changemakers, Building Belonging.

The aim of the strategy is to effect change, focussing on three main objectives, so that a child starting school in 2022 will leave the education system in 2035 having been able to access the life-changing benefits of play and sport in order to achieve their full potential.

By taking urgent action now to build back healthier, happier, more resilient young people, we will establish an evidence base to drive a generational shift and ultimately achieve societal change by 2035.

Now we are one full year into our strategy we reflect on what and how we are delivering against each objective.


Urgent action

Our strategy

Build back healthier, happier and more resilient young people and level the playing field for those most disadvantaged.

For those young people who participated in our programmes;


reported improved confidence



reported improved enjoyment of taking part in sport and physical activity


reported improved resilience



reported improved happiness

In conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University, we have identified associations between sports participation, wellbeing and belonging. By measuring the outcomes of our work, we also ensure that we are delivering in a way to build a child’s sense of belonging.

Set for Success

Set for Success is a two year youth leadership initiative funded by the Wimbledon Foundation, that has been designed to provide young people in underserved communities at risk of having more limited life chances the opportunity to develop valuable life and leadership skills through mentoring sessions delivered by inspirational athletes and the power of sport.

In the 2022/23 academic year, 153 young people were engaged in Set for Success, of which 55% were in receipt of free school meals (FSM) and 40% had additional support needs.

87% now know more about how their skills can help them in the future and 80% have more confidence that they will do well in life.

Due to Set for Success’s ongoing success, the project has been extended by the Wimbledon Foundation in partnership with Barclays, to further increase the reach over the next four years to 150 schools across the UK, engaging up to 3,900 young people

Find out more


Breaking Boundaries

Funded by Spirit of 2012, Breaking Boundaries was delivered from 2018 to 2022 in Bradford, Birmingham, London, Manchester and Slough. Led by the Youth Sport Trust in partnership with Sporting Equals and a consortium of organisations the purpose of the project was to provide social mixing between target communities.

Over the course of four years the project engaged 4,398 individuals in one off events, 83% of registered participants were from ethnically diverse communities.

The programme outcomes demonstrated improvement in social connectedness, community voice, participation and belonging. All the original Coordinators passed an apprenticeship qualification showing that they had demonstrated improved knowledge and skills around supporting community cohesion. 

Find out more

Inclusion 2024

Inclusion 2024 is funded by the Department of Education and led by the Youth Sport Trust on behalf of a consortium of organisations including Activity Alliance, the British Paralympic Association, nasen and Swim England. The programme aims to increase and improve opportunities for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to engage and participate in physical education and school sport and is delivered through the Youth Sport Trust Lead Inclusion School network of 52 schools.

During the academic year 2022/23  the programme has involved over 28,000 interactions with members of the school workforce through training networking, practice modelling and information sharing.

75% of school staff feel that their Lead Inclusion School has helped them to feel more supported in delivering inclusive PE and school sports. Almost half of pupils with SEND were achieving 60 active minutes a day and 7 out of 10 were achieving 30 active minutes. 

Find out more

Active in Mind

Active in Mind (AIM) is designed to prevent and improve mental health issues in adolescence. It uses the evidence of what works to address stress and anxiety in young people, helps them build personal strategies for resilience and uses the power of peer mentoring through a trauma-informed approach.

In the last academic year 58 practitioners have been trained in AIM principles, 229 young people trained as AiM mentors and 657 AIM mentees.

For nearly two thirds of mentees, the programme improved how they felt they were coping better, feeling more positive overall, more confident trying new things and more confident in meeting new people and talking to others.*

*Based on AIM synthesis 2023

Find out more

Healthy Movers

Designed to support the physical literacy, wellbeing and learning of two to five year-olds, Healthy Movers delivers resources and training for early years practitioners and families.

The Healthy Movers approach has been effective at increasing children’s physical, emotional and social development as a foundation for improving language, communication and literacy.

Practitioners report 40% improvement in physical development of children and 23% improvement in literacy skills of children through the programme.*

*Based on Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole Healthy Movers Evaluation 2022.

In the 2022/23 academic year Healthy Movers training was delivered to 324 practitioners across Cornwall, Bedfordshire, Hull, East Suffolk, Liverpool, Wiltshire, and Dorset benefitting over 1,620 children.

The progression we have seen in the children’s development has been amazing and they haven’t lost their passion to want to join in. They look forward to joining in with Healthy Movers and always ask what is next. Healthy Movers is now part of our daily routine and something all the children look forward to taking part in.

Find out more

Lidl Sport for Good

The Lidl Sport for Good programme features Northern Ireland’s best-known athletes, who run a series of workshops targeted at secondary school pupils, with a focus on improving young people’s mental wellbeing, self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience through sports participation.

78% of Student Mentors have reported an increase in their confidence to take part in sport and physical activity as a result of taking part in Lidl Sport for Good.

Across Northern Ireland 512 young people have benefitted from the programme this academic year.​

In 2022/23 the programme aimed to include a wider representation of schools using the Income Affecting Children’s Deprivation (IACD) data in a bid to level the playing field for those most disadvantaged and to support schools to build back healthier, happier and more resilient students.

Find out more

Generational shift

Our strategy

To balance the demands of the digital age through the human connection of physical play and sport.


Over two-thirds of young people who took part in our programmes reported an improvement to how connected they feel to others.


Young people also reported that programmes had a positive impact on their skills:

87% — leadership 

84% — team work

83% — communication 

82% — self belief 

Girls Active

Girls Active supports schools to understand what motivates girls to take part in physical activity, PE, and sport, enabling teachers to work with girls, through consultation and leadership, and make the necessary changes to their physical activity provision.

The programme aims to tackle the barriers girls experience and through cultivating a movement of young female leaders, empowering them to take positive action through influencing, and inspiring their peers.

89% of Girls Active leaders feel more motivated to take part in sport and physical activity.

83% of Girls Active leaders agree that Girls Active has provided greater opportunities to influence other girls to take part.

Since September 2021, 182 girls were trained as Girls Active leaders, 416 girls have been supported to be more physically active and 17 teachers have been trained.*

Find out more

Young Ambassadors

The Young Ambassadors programme aims to ensure young people are heard, valued and have a platform to influence and drive change in sport.

There have been over 7,000 Young Ambassadors in Scotland since the programme started in 2012, and around 650 new Young Ambassadors every year have the opportunity to attend a national conference.

In Wales in the last academic year 645 Young Ambassadors from across 15 Local Authority areas delivered soft launch projects to test a new programme vision in their local communities, and 65 adults attended three events, which incorporated training to enable them to successfully implement the new vision in their local authorities.

Young Ambassadors in Wales is delivered by the Youth Sport Trust and in Scotland it is led by sportscotland and supported by the Youth Sport Trust though Lottery Funding.

Find out more

Youth Summit

In July of this year, the Youth Sport Trust hosted their first ever Youth Summit where more than 80 young people came together from across England, Scotland and Wales, to Loughborough University to co-design together a youth call to action to become a catalyst for change for all leaders and young leaders in sport.

The calls to action centred around three themes:

Celebrating Diversity
Encouraging Choice
Promoting Wellbeing

Find out more


Societal change

Our strategy

Transform society’s perceptions and attitudes towards the importance of physical literacy, play and sport in the education and development of young people.


of practitioners agree that our programme(s) positively impacted the senior leadership team and wider staff’s perception of PE and school sport


of practitioners agreed that as a result of taking part in a Youth Sport Trust programme, there had been a positive impact on young people’s engagement with school


of practitioners agreed that as a result of taking part in a Youth Sport Trust programme, there had been a positive impact on young people’s behaviour

Barclays Girls’ Football School Partnerships by England Football

The Barclays Girls’ Football School Partnerships by England Football, is a nationwide scheme to deliver mainstream football in schools for girls, challenging outdated gender stereotypes. The FA’s vision is to ensure that every girl has equal access to football in school, and clubs, by 2024.

During the 2022/23 academic year 123,000 girls participated in the programme, 31% of which were from ethnically diverse communities. A further 2,500 girls were trained to be leaders in football to their peers.

75% of schools in England are now providing Equal Access to football in the curriculum for girls – hitting our 2024 target a year ahead of schedule. 

58% of schools are providing Equal Opportunities to extra-curricular girls' football.

Find out more

School Games

Funded by Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, the School Games is a framework delivered locally by a national network of 450 School Games Organisers who aspire to make a positive difference to the lives of young people through accessible, equitable, competition for all within school sport and physical activity.

At the School Games Summit in July, all School Games Organisers came together and committed to three School Games pledges through to 2025:

  • Tackle inequalities to increase participation of schools from the most underserved communities
  • Ensure physical literacy and positive experiences are created and promoted for children and young people
  • Embed youth engagement to enhance the principle of ‘by young people, for young people’.

In 2022/23 academic year 2.2 million young people participated in School Games opportunities, of which 29% were from Ethnically Diverse Communities and 14% had Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Find out more

National School Sports Week

National School Sports Week 2023 (NSSW) was powered by Sports Direct and Sports Slam, and the campaign aimed to raise awareness of the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) recommendation that children should be highly active for at least 60 minutes a day.

During the campaign we asked schools and caregivers to #PledgeToPlay to support young people to be active for 60 minutes. We provided a range of free to access resources, including video case studies and Sports Slam downloadable activities to support.

In total 1,780 schools, 143 organisations, 182 families and 57 MPs signed up to the campaign, resulting in 589,714 people pledging to be active for 60 minutes every day.

2,890 NSSW resources were downloaded and 574 articles were published in the media reaching, a potential audience in excess of 28 million, helping us to raise awareness of the CMO's 60 minutes a day recommendation.


What did we learn in 2023?

During the 2023 academic year, the Youth Sport Trust Research and Insight Team worked collaboratively with experts across the sector to produce 20 evaluations and 13 new pieces of published research, canvassing the opinions of over 25,000 young people, more than 1,000 parents and over 9,000 teachers to further understanding of the role of PE, play and sport in the development of young people.
We developed and launched a new, sector-wide Knowledge Bank, and published our second PE and School Sport report collating latest evidence and research into children’s wellbeing, issues faced and the benefits of PE, play and sport from a variety of sources in one central repository, and ran two sector wide research summits to facilitate cross-sector learning and information sharing, supporting the sector in taking an evidence-led approach to development.

Over the course of the year some of the things we learnt were:


Mother helping young boy learn to swim


of children will be unable to swim when they leave school if the funding is withdrawn

Read the Primary PE and sport premium report


Young girl focused on target with football in hands ready to throw


Fewer hours of PE were taught in 2022/23 compared to 2011/2012


Read more about the state of secondary PE

Group of young people and teacher taking part in activity with ribbons in an outdoor playground


of Alternative Provision sites reported not having access to an outdoor playground

Read more about The Role and Value of Physical Education and Sport in Alternative Provision Schools

Group of teenage boys sat inactive on a bench72%

of parents are concerned that young people are not getting enough physical activity

Read more about - PE and School Sport: The Annual Report 2023

How did we spread the word?

From September 2022 to August 2023 we secured 4,558 media articles about our work, our insight and our mission, including 199 mentions on broadcast media, delivering an estimated 504 million opportunities to see.

Watch Ali Oliver on BBC Breakfast discussing the DCMS Sports Strategy

We worked across government to lobby and influence, supporting the DfE to shape the refresh of the School Sport and Activity Action Plan. We consulted with DCMS on the development of the long-awaiting national Sport Strategy 'Get Active’.

We submitted three consultation responses and appeared at two select committees. We hosted three high profile MP visits as part of National School Sports Week and 57 MPs pledged their support for the campaign.

We also worked through our structures of influence to gain insight and galvanise action including:


Member schools 


Multi-Academy Trusts  


Well Schools 


Headteacher Ambassadors 


PE CatalYSTs 


School Games Organisers 


School partnerships within the Schools Active Movement 


Organisations within the School Sport and Activity Sector Partnership

The School Sport and Activity Sector Partnership

The Youth Sport Trust established the School Sport and Activity Sector Partnership in 2019, and it now includes over 70 organisations with a collective mission to improve the lives of young people through play and sport in schools. The purpose of the partnership is three-fold:

To take collective, direct action to better understand and tackle systemic challenges in our sector so that every young person can benefit from the positive outcomes that participation in PE, school sport and physical activity offers

To use the strength of our united voice to provide consistency of understanding to advocate for the place of positive outcomes from PE, school sport and physical activity in schools and its importance to every young person’s personal development, health and wellbeing

To improve the sector from within by networking, sharing best practice and providing a supportive environment for all sector parties to thrive to better provide for young people and educators

Starting locally and building momentum

As part of our work to tackling inequalities of access to PE, play and sport for the most underserved communities, we are focussing more of our learning and insight gathering, available resource and targeted programme support in specific areas of need across the UK.

During the 2022/23 academic year we launched a place-based pilot in three ward level locations in the UK:

  • Prescot, Knowsley
  • Perry Barr, Birmingham
  • Stepney Green, London

In addition to these specific place-based pilots, we identified new focus areas of need where will be increasing our impact, through learning and then working more intensively.

These additional areas were identified using analysis of data from Active Lives, the National Child Measurement Programme, schools ADACI scores, combined with other readiness factors such as existing relationships within each geography.

During 2022/23 we:

  • Developed relationships with local partners in each geography
  • Started to explore and select schools that we will work intensively with to learn from and embed our approaches, such as Well Schools, utilising school networks to support and encourage other schools locally to do the same.

Over the next academic year, we will be working very closely with these school hubs and will seek to empower and equip local educators to become the leaders in influencing and changing the local system to deliver better outcomes for young people in some of the most underserved communities in the country.

Graphic showing outline of England with location pins for Prescot (Knowsley), Perry Barr (Birmingham) and  Stepney Green (London)

Sport England’s System Partner for Schools

Group of teenage girls having fun playing rugby outdoors

The Youth Sport Trust works closely with Sport England as a partner to deliver system-wide change in line with their 10-year Uniting the Movement Strategy to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity, playing a key role in enhancing understanding of schools and education, and the needs of young people.

Together with other system partners, we have an unrelenting focus on creating positive experiences for all children and young people as the foundations for a long and healthy life.

We seek to create these positive experiences by engaging and understanding the voices of young people across all aspects of our work, researching and understanding barriers to access and co-designing programs and solutions.

We are also working closely with partners across the sector to define, understanding and develop physical literacy, embedding the importance and understanding of physical literacy across all of our educator training. 

Our research continues to aim to evidence the impact of play, physical activity and sport on not only physical health but also mental health, well-being, educational achievement and attainment, school outcomes and ultimately economic productivity.

We are laser-focused on reducing the existing inequality of access by concentrating our activities, actions, and investment within communities of greatest need. 

Finally, we continue to work in partnership with Sport Wales and sportscotland to ensure the voices and actions of young people are embedded in school and youth sport with an ongoing partnership focusing on Young Ambassadors and Fit For Girls (Scotland only).

Youth Sport Trust International

For Youth Sport Trust International, YST’s sister organisation which works globally to enhance the life-chances of young people through physical activity and sport, building partnerships has been the defining feature of all the work undertaken by the team in the last academic year. This has enabled us to have our greatest impact since the pandemic supported by a range of delivery and funding partners, established and new. Some of the highlights of the past year's impact are below:

Group of happy smiling, female teachers from Karachi (Pakistan)


36,000 children in Karachi, Pakistan are taking part in quality physical education lessons and their schools have joined an inter-school competition programme. This initiative titled Youth Empowerment Through Sport (YETS) has been funded by the Rangoonwala Foundation. Teachers, most of them female, in 114 schools – many in deprived and slum areas - have benefitted from training by Youth Sport Trust International expert trainers to develop their confidence and enthusiasm for teaching PE and sport in schools. 

I will always remember BIG hands and BIG eyes when catching and fielding. This has helped me and will help my children improve.
Teacher — after taking part in an initial training course

Find out more


Group of adults smiling and having fun on the Coach Educators programme


Nike appointed Youth Sport Trust International in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University to design and deliver a new Coach Educator programme to support the development of coaches in six European cities – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan and Paris. As a result a network of 17 Coach Educators have been trained to delivery Positive Play coaching sessions to Nike partners in each city.

Being prepared for the training and having plan B or C is helpful to maintain confidence and to be able to deal with unexpected situations, embracing flexibility and developing experience to deal with new scenarios.

Find out more


Following a scoping visit to Malawi, the fifth poorest country in the world, the Board has given the go ahead to a new four year Beckwith International Leadership Development (BILD) programme to be established in Lilongwe. Working in partnership with the Bhubesi Pride Foundation, a sport for development NGO with a residential training facility, BILD Malawi will provide young people with high quality leadership development training through sport resulting in their involvement as sport and event volunteers, coaches, officials and administrators. They will become active leaders in schools, communities and national organisations that contribute to the development of Malawi. A proportion of young people will have a portfolio of skills and competencies that will enhance their life chances and employability. Moreover, Malawian children in schools and communities will experience sport and play activities organised by their older peers, who they perceive as role models. 

Find out more

Funding our mission

Our income 2021/22


Our income 2022/23


Pie chart graphic showing the proportion of each source of income for 2022/23

Trusts and Foundations £560,872, Fundraising and Donations £177,548, Corporate Partnerships £140,885, Membership Income £428,257, Commissioned Development Work £1,832,730, Research £2,342, Central Government Work £337,520, Sport England £5,871,275, Local Government Contracts £74,157, Home Nations £309,883, Commercial Events and Activities £68,110, Miscellaneous £179,713, Total £9,983,292. YST Enterprises £74,887.

The Sport England figure includes funding for the School Games National Finals which is a biennial event that did not take place in 2022/23.

A link to our full annual report and financial statement for 2022/23 will be added once published.

Thank you

A special thank you to the National Lottery for the funding from our partnership with Sport England which continues to support our work making a difference to children’s lives on a huge scale.


Strategic Partnerships

Activity Alliance
Active Partnerships
Association of School and College Leaders
Association for Physical Education
British Paralympic Association
Confederation of School Trusts
Leadership Skills Foundation
Loughborough University
Nasen (National Association for Special Educational Needs)
NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit
Schools Active Movement
Sport and Recreation Alliance
Sport England
Sport for Development Coalition
Sporting Equals
Women in Sport

Trust and Foundations

Chance to Shine Foundation
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Garfield Weston Foundation
The Haramead Trust
John Armitage Charitable Trust
Sir John Beckwith Charitable Trust
John Lyons Charitable Trust
Spirit of 2012
Wimbledon Foundation
The Charity of Sir Richard Whittington

Corporate Partners

Complete P.E.
Enrich Education
Lidl Ireland
Nexa Properties Ltd
Sky Cares
Sports Direct
Teach Active

Local Government Contracts

Cherwell District Council
Cornwall Council
Dorset Council
East Suffolk Council
Flying Start Nurseries
Hastings Opportunity Area
Hull County Council
Liverpool College
Oak Academy
Suffolk County Council
Teach First

Commissioned Work

Active Partnerships
Athletics Northern Ireland
Archdiocese of Liverpool Primary School Improvement Trust
Birmingham Education Partnership
Birmingham Organising Committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games Ltd
British Wheelchair Basketball
Commonwealth Sport Foundation
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Department for Education
England Netball
The FA
Football Association of Wales
Hockey Wales
Major League Baseball Europe Ltd
Rugby Football Union
SEN Magazine LTD
Sheffield Hallam University
Sport Event Solutions
Sport Scotland
Sport Wales
Street Games
Ulster Hockey
University of Worcester
Wales FA Trust
Welsh Cycling