Sport England:
has the UK remained active during lockdown?

Our survey was able to gather detailed demographic information to build up a picture of who was being more or less physically active, and how this was changing as the pandemic continued.

Sport England wanted to gather evidence on public levels of physical activity and associated attitudes.

Considering the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the various restrictions on life, including access to and availability of sport and exercise, Sport England wanted to gather evidence on public levels of physical activity and associated attitudes. Due to the timing of the pandemic and the immediate impact of lockdown on the population, including the 'once a day' outdoor allowance for exercise, their other existing research programmes were not able to capture the necessary data in a timely way. Sport England required a vehicle that was a more reactive and quicker turnaround.

The Challenge

Key problems

Our survey was able to gather detailed demographic information to build up a picture of who was being more or less physically active, and how this was changing as the pandemic continued, informing the support and information Sport England provided to the sector during the outbreak, and supporting their overall mission to help everyone in England be active.

Our approach

Savanta provided a solution that met our client’s needs in terms of speed of turnaround, quality of data and appropriate outputs. Using our in-house panel and online survey platform, we conducted regular surveys of 2000 English adults, representative by age, gender, region and social grade. In addition, after the first wave, we also ensured the sample was representative in terms of quotas of adults with and without children under 18 in their household. This particular element showed flexibility and continual efforts to improve the project as we proceeded. Sport England also appreciated Savanta’s work in designing new questions to respond to identified research needs and providing additional consolidated or bespoke outputs at various points throughout the project.

The outcome

Sport England shared updates to their online resource document with data from the previous wave, as well as any press releases they were issuing. These were widely used across the organisation and across the sport and leisure sector to understand up to date information about physical activity during the pandemic.

The research was used to provide updates to DCMS and offer a source of evidence for use by organisations across the sport and physical activity sector for public engagement and understanding how they can best respond. Insights from the research contribute to the public understanding of the impact of the pandemic on physical activity levels and help Sport England understand how they need to respond to achieve their objectives of increasing activity across the nation.

“Savanta have provided an excellent service for us in delivering a major ongoing survey and associated outputs. Their communication was timely, responsive, clear and helpful, and they really took responsibility for meeting our needs and dealing with our numerous queries and requests. Their team members were a pleasure to deal with, providing a high level of skill and expertise alongside an agreeable manner and a pro-active, professional approach.”

Tim Fitches, Research and Evaluation Lead, Sport England


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