Sport England was keen to understand how best it could support community sports clubs to run satellite clubs for young people in their communities.

What did we do?

In a two-stage project, we firstly used our knowledge of sports participation among 14-25 year olds (the age at which a large number of young people drop out of sport) to identify a variety of successful approaches to engage with this cohort. Using the best examples of this practice and authoring our own guidance, we created content for an online toolkit aimed at volunteers in community sports clubs.

The second stage was to evaluate a national pilot programme involving five sports and five regions where different approaches to the satellite club model were being tested. This involved both qualitative and quantitative methods of evaluation. Approaches were assessed through semi-structured interviews, gathering the views of a range of partners including schools, CSPs, sports clubs, NGBs and young people. We identified common success factors and proposed CSP and NGB roles and responsibilities that would give effective support to volunteer-led clubs to run successful satellites. This culminated in a facilitated event to share findings of the evaluation and develop recommendations with a range of stakeholders – from national investors to club coaches.

What was the result of our work?

The initial phase of the project resulted in our creation of the satellite clubs toolkit. Our evaluation of the satellite club pilots delivering to 14-25 year olds led to a series of recommendations made to Sport England. They have since invested £49m into the creation of 4,000 satellite clubs for young people.

“Thanks for all of your hard work and efforts over the past 18 months. The report was excellent – exactly what I was hoping for in terms of content and layout, so well done and thanks for the work that’s gone into this!”

Andrew Liney, Satellite Clubs Officer, Sport England