Round the World Challenge.

This project evaluated Mencap’s Round the World Challenge, an initiative aimed at encouraging physical activity among people with learning disabilities.

This research was initially commissioned in 2016 and assessed the impact of Round the World Challenge (RTWC) on participants’ physical activity and on their broader health, wellbeing and quality of life. It also assessed the impact on individual, social and community development and how this is achieved. In 2019 a further evaluation was commissioned to build upon research into the development of RTWC within the sport and leisure sectors. The current evaluation focused on how RTWC influences the formation of behavioural habits and individual wellbeing.

Key Findings


  • RTWC was reported by participants, providers and carers to have been a lifeline during Covid-19, giving them motivation, structure and routine
  • Providers believe RTWC helped offset the impacts of lockdown restrictions on participants’ physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • Participants’ activity levels increased significantly, with the percentage reporting to be ‘active’ (150+ mins p/wk), rising from 26% to 42% (+62%) between the start and end of programme engagement
  • Significant increases are evident in participants’ happiness and confidence playing sports and being active with others, their enjoyment of new activities and understanding of how to live a healthy life
  • RTWC also I’m[pacted wider wellbeing outcomes, with the percentage of participants feeling happy, accepted, valued and respected rising significantly across the programme
  • Providers say engagement in RTWC strengthed networks, resulting in meaningful collaboration, better provision, increased reach and more appealing, diverse and sustainable activity opportunities

Date: 2016 – June 2017 and 2019-2021

Client: English Federation of Disability Sport and English Learning Disability Sports Alliance (MENCAP & Special Olympics GB)

“It’s provided a really tangible opportunity to put our money where our mouth is instead of people just saying ‘Yeah, I want to work collaboratively’. The positivity of giving everyone a chance to work meaningfully together and taking the financial pressure off has been really nice” – Staff, Bristol Bears Community Foundation

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