ADD2124 Sport Unites research for programme development

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
13 June 2017
Decision by: 
Amanda Coyle, Assistant Director, Health and Communities

Executive summary

The GLA Sports team is developing a new community sport strategy and investment programme (Sport Unites) that will have social integration at its heart. To enable and inform the development of Sports Unites, the Sports Team is requesting £20,000 to fund research that will underpin the development of the programme. 


This ADD requests that that the Assistant Director of Health and Communities approves Sport for Social Integration research: up to £20,000. 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

•    Sport for Social Integration research: up to £20,000 

Social Integration is a major priority for the Mayor. The GLA Sports team is developing a new investment programme for community sport in London (Sport Unites) which will have social integration at its heart. Because social integration is a completely new area of work for the GLA, additional resources are required to ensure that the programme is designed on the basis of solid evidence, and draws on international best practice. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

The purpose of the research is to understand the key elements of successful sport for social integration initiatives to inform the development of the Mayor’s new Sport Unites investment programme. The research will: 

•    Summarise the existing research on this subject, and outline the leading academic theories and frameworks that underpin sport for social integration initiatives across the world – particularly in cities; 
•    Identify and describe 8-10 initiatives (a blend of projects and programmes) that have taken place or are taking place in the UK and internationally using sport to deliver social integration outcomes;
•    Analyse each of the initiatives to identify: the social integration outcomes they are working towards; how they measure social integration; what makes them successful; and the lessons that have been learned from each.

Equality comments

The development of the Sport Unites programme will take account of the GLA’s new equalities strategy and framework, and the consultation process will ensure that stakeholders and individuals that represent the diversity of London’s population have a chance to shape the programme.

Data from Sport England’s Active People survey shows that levels of participation in sport and physical activity are variable across different socio-demographic groups in London. Across all 33 London Boroughs, average figures indicate that 43% of men participate in sport at least once a week compared to 32% of women. 37% of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people participate weekly compared to 39% of people of white origin. 19% of disabled people participate weekly compared to 40% of non-disabled people. 17% of people over the age of 65 participate weekly compared to 52% of those between the age of 16 and 25. 41% of people from socio-economic groups 1 to 4 participate weekly compared to 25% of people from socio-economic groups 5-8 (based on the National Statistics Socio-economic classification system).

Whilst social integration will be a key priority for the Sport Unites programme – the Sports Team will ensure that the Mayor’s funding impacts on groups and communities of Londoners that will benefit the most of opportunities to take part in physical activity. This includes: women, disabled people, BAME people, the elderly, and people from lower socio-economic groups. The sport strategy will also contribute to reducing health inequalities in London

Other considerations



Likelihood / Impact

Response & Mitigation


Potential delays to finalising the metrics that will determine how the success of the programme will be measured. This may occur if the work to develop the GLA-wide framework for social integration proceeds beyond Autumn 2017.  

Medium / Medium

Work closely with the Diversity & Social Policy team. If the timelines end up being misaligned - include provision within the submission for the Autumn budget setting process for the programme to be approved on the understanding that detailed metrics will be finalised and aligned with the GLA Social Integration framework following the budget decision.


Insufficient resources within the GLA Sports Team could result in programme development slippage.

Medium / High

The resources requested by this ADD are to mitigate against this risk. The Sports Team will review progress and resources with the Deputy Mayor on a fortnightly basis to ensure strategy and programme development remain on track. 


The change in emphasis from a strong focus on participation to a prioritising social integration may prove challenging for the community sport sector in London.

Low / Medium

We will consult with the sector to inform the development of our new programme and specifically to get their input into what support and information would be most useful to providers looking to use sport to achieve social integration outcomes. We will also work very closely with London Sport and Sport England to ensure our programme aligns with and complements their work – particularly around the ‘Individual Development’ and ‘Social & Community Development’ outcomes from the DCMS Sporting Future Strategy.

Financial comments

5.1     The estimated cost of up to £20,000 will be funded from the Community Sports Programme budget for 2017-18 (held within the Health & Communities Unit).

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Research partner formally commissioned

Jun 2017

Research complete

By 31st Jul

Consultation carried out (Online, Roundtables, Expert Group etc)

Jun – Sep 2017

Strategy & programme development complete

Oct 2017

GLA budget setting

Nov 2017

Announcement of investment programme

Feb/ Mar 2018

Sport Unites investment programme commences

Apr 2018

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