Multi Sports Pilot

spear was commissioned by the Youth Sport Trust to conduct an independent evaluation of the Multi Sports Pilot. The research is designed to gather insight, increase knowledge and understanding to inform resource development. It explores the challenges faces by stakeholders, showcases effective practice and provides key messages for realising the potential of multi sport provision to support young people, communities and schools.

Multi Sports Pilot aims to build on initial desktop research conducted by the YST in 2020/2021 to gain further insight into the multi sports club environment and how multi sport provision can most effectively support young people, schools and communities.

Key Findings

  • Multi sport is a fundamentally different kind of extracurricular sport provision. It is primarily student-led and student-centered, it emphasises fun, enjoyment, personal achievement and wellbeing and it favours flexible, creative, non-traditional methods of sport and activity delivery
  • Providers motivations for offering multi sports clubs include the desire to engage less active or engaged students, build confidence and develop skills, and enable students to meet new people and socialise more, reducing isolation and easing transition
  • Student leaders play an important role in supporting delivery of multi sports clubs by creating a friendly and inviting atmosphere, eliciting student preferences, leading activities, socialising with and mentoring younger students and helping them integrate within the school
  • Aspects of multi sports clubs that appeal most to young people include the relaxed, non-judgemental, pressure-free atmosphere, the variety and novelty of activities on offer and the freedom to choose what sports they want to do and how they want to play
  • Multi sport providers often lean away from competition but still recognise that if used in moderation and at the right time, competition can increase motivation, engagement and progression
  • Benefits reported by stakeholders include greater confidence and engagement with sport, increased wellbeing and development, enhanced feelings of belonging, easier transition and feeling more integrated within school, and better relationships between students and PE staff
  • Providers see potential in the multi sport model for supporting the Opening School Facilities agenda and strengthening links between schools and communities, thereby making school sport provision more accessible, inclusive and equitable
  • Challenges to embedding, sustaining and scaling up multi sport provision include staffing, space, time, facilities, equipment, and staff competence and confidence
  • Encouraging wider adoption of multi sport provision required evidencing impact and raising awareness of the value and potential of this provision among policy makers, school leaders, staff, parents, young people and community sport providers

Date: March 2022

Client: Youth Sport Trust

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