Better representation and accessibility of minority sports in all schools would increase the uptake outside the top particiapted sports, according to a new survey.
In a national survey by Harrod Sport, the UK’s sports equipment manufacturer, 43 per cent of parents would also encourage their children to try a new sport after the influence of high-profile sporting events.
England women’s gold medallist Ellie Rayer believes that high-profile sporting events, like the Commonwealth Games, play a big part in inspiring people.
She said: “Seeing athletes from every corner of the country excel on the international stage can inspire people to get involved and push to be more active regardless of their age.”
Better representation in all schools outside football, cricket, rugby, tennis, and badminton is important as many of the nation’s exposure to sport starts at schools.
Rayer said: “My experience in other sports has shaped me and allowed me to reach the level that I have. Hockey may be my sport, but I understand that it is not going to be everyone’s which is why trying lots of sports and finding what you love is key. Have a go at everything and find something that puts a smile on your face.”
Harrod also found that the NHS ranked as the most influential organisation, above the likes of the IOC, Commonwealth Games organising committee, the FA and FIFA, in encouraging people to play sports more regularly.
The study showed that 44 per cent of those surveyed were influenced most by health and wellbeing organisations including the NHS, and that 51 per cent played sports for its health benefits.
And reflective of the times, two-thirds (69%) of Brits believed that social media, including influencer profiles, encouraged people to take up a sport.
Twice as many of those of university age (18 – 24) felt that social media played a significant role in driving participation of sports than those over 65 years old (90% vs 48%).