Class of 2035: As we move out of the pandemic, we have to work to ensure we don’t see activity levels decrease

As our charity launches a landmark piece of new research into young people’s future relationships with PE and school sport this week, Sport England’s Executive Director of Children and Young People Mike Diaper, has supported the findings. Read Mike’s response.

"This new report backs up the evidence from Sport England's own Active Lives Children survey, which reveals that there are startling inequalities in how children and young people access sport and physical activity.

"As we move out of the pandemic, we have to work to ensure that we don't see activity levels decrease in children and young people from black and Asian backgrounds and those from less well-off backgrounds, particularly as even before Covid they were finding it harder to be active. 

"Physical activity and PE help not only mental and physical health, it has been proven to aid concentration, behaviour and academic achievement in schools which will be vital skills in helping them catch up from missed school days. Active children are happier, more resilient and trusting of others.

"At Sport England we have some major projects on the horizon with partners such as the Youth Sport Trust including the soon-to-be-launched Studio You programme.

"Studio You is designed specifically to get teenage girls enjoying exercise, offering activities from yoga to boxing and combat to dance. It's powered by This Girl Can, the award-winning behaviour-change campaign, and will be available free to teachers.

"We will also continue to share learnings from our nationwide secondary school teacher training programme, which offers schools free resources and training to engage all pupils in physical activity, regardless of sporting activity.

"The report also shows that it's vital that young people are given a greater voice in what PE and school sport looks like. That's why one of the goals in our strategy Uniting the Movement is to involve children and young people in decision-making and designing relevant opportunities to be active."

To download and read the report in full, please visit

Published on 16 September 2021