StreetGames research

StreetGames commissioned a research study to explore the concept of ‘sporting capital’ and the role it can play in terms of influencing the likelihood of sustained participation in sport. 

Sporting capital is defined as: 

The stock of physical, social and psychological attributes and competencies that support and motivate an individual to participate in sport and to sustain that participation over time.  

It is classified into three domains: social, psychological and physiological and suggests a dynamic interaction between these 3 domains all of which play a significant role in determining current and likely future sports participation.   

The study included data analysis of additional (sporting capital related) questions which were inserted into a sample of interviews conducted via the Sport England Active People Survey to assess levels of sporting capital by key demographic groups and the relationship with levels of sports participation. 

StreetGames is keen to build upon this study during 2013/14 to further develop the understanding of the concept of sporting capital and how this learning can be used in terms of ‘on the ground delivery’ to build the sporting capital of young people in disadvantaged areas and thus ultimately develop a sporting habit for life.

Links to each section of the research are listed below:

StreetGames Briefing Paper - Sporting Capital

Executive Summary - Sporting Capital

1 - What is Sporting Capital and why is it important

2 - What is the relationship between Sporting Capital and Participation

3 - Are we a Sporting Nation

4 - Sporting Capital and Gender

5 - Sporting Capital and Social Class

6 - Sporting Capital and the Frequency and Type of Sport

7 - Sporting Capital and Ethnicity 

8 - Sporting Capital Amongst the Young

9 - Why it is Important to Public Policy

10 - Doorstep Sport - Building Sporting Capital

11 - Sporting Capital - Future Research

Summary Overview


Research background

This paper was written by Nick Rowe, former head of research at Sport England, on behalf of StreetGames. It is a distillation and summary of more extensive reports commissioned by StreetGames and carried out by Nick Rowe with analytical support provided by Oliver Norden and Joel Williams at TNS-BMRB. Sport England provided access to data from the Active People Survey, without which this report would not have been possible. The full reports are available from StreetGames.

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