Removing barriers to sport

YST Removing barriers to sport
Harness global best practice to ensure youth sport in the UK is inclusive, accessible and fun.

We will support schools, clubs and families to remove the causes of negative experiences for young people.

Many children try sport but later drop out, some try it but never find the activity that really engages them and some never get to really try it at all.

Did you know?

  • 40% of girls and only 54% of boys aged 11 to 18 enjoy physical activity whilst enjoyment levels decrease with age
  • 82% of schools and children's groups reported that the availability of appropriate facilities or equipment was a key barrier to participation by children with disabilities.

A negative experience at a formative age can put people off for life. Others will lack the opportunity to try different sports. Even those who do might face a lack of suitable provision in their area – the facilities aren’t there, the cost of access and transport is too high, or they have a disability which isn’t catered for, making them feel excluded. Some will be deterred from ever getting involved after hearing negative experiences shared by parents, friends or classmates.

We will work to remove these negative experiences and support parents to break the generational-cycle by creating opportunities for all young people to enjoy high quality, fun and inclusive sport and physical activity.


  • Stimulate innovation in sport, play and physical activity
  • Inspire, motivate and reward young people
  • Support parents and families.

What we’ve done so far:

  • We worked closely with three government departments to feed into the development of an action plan which aims to give more young people the opportunity to enjoy 60 minutes of sport and activity every day. We led the sport sector’s response to the plan, bringing together 40 national governing bodies of sport
  • Our award-winning Girls Active programme has continued to increase girls’ participation in PE, sport and physical activity, raising self-esteem and increasing the value they place upon being physically active
  • We have worked alongside the Football Association (FA) to grow and develop girls’ football in schools. This has included new physical competency resources for primary schools, the continuation of the Game of Our Own programme and a three-day residential summer camp
  • We’ve supported schools and families to get children cycling through the HSBC UK Ready Set Ride programme – with over 10,000 children engaged in 2018/19
  • Through our Leadership, Coaching and Volunteering programme we trained 1,533 female secondary students across 371 schools in England
  • We were commissioned by the Department for Education to lead the Inclusion 2020 project, which is working through our Lead Inclusion Schools to increase opportunities for young people with SEND to enjoy PE, school sport and physical activity
  • The School Games, which is funded by the National Lottery through Sport England, has continued to deliver high-quality, accessible and inclusive competitive sport to young people in 17,880 schools. The programme provided 4.7 million participation opportunities during 2018/19 alone, whilst our #Reframe Competition campaign aimed to tackle some of the negative experiences that exist within competition and broaden participation opportunities.

Read more about our impact in our 2018/19 Impact Report, published in January 2020.

To read our full strategy please click here or click below to look at another objective. 

Our Strategy

In 2018 we launched our new four-year strategy, focusing on six objectives. At the heart of these objectives is a goal to tackle the alarming decline in young people's wellbeing.
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Transforming physical education

Transform PE's place in the curriculum, putting it at the centre of wellbeing and achievement in education.
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Unlocking potential

Unlock sport's potential at every stage of a child's life, especially where they face inequality or disadvantage.
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Empowering activism

Empower young people through sport to become local activists, tackling the issues of their generation.
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Championing insight

Champion the impact of physical activity, PE and sport through research and insight.
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Strengthening foundations

Strengthen our foundations to ensure we can sustain our mission.
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