Sport and Culture
Measuring and understanding engagement in sport and culture
Our Sport and Culture research unit has a strong reputation, thanks to its expertise in areas such as measuring and understanding participation and engagement in sport and culture (among adults and young people) and stakeholder research.
Participation studies are at the heart of what we do and having completed the baseline Active People Survey, on behalf of Sport England (APS 1 2005-2006), Ipsos MORI was successful in winning the follow-on surveys - Active People 2, 3, and 4. This large-scale telephone survey provides a robust measure of participation in sport and active recreation for all Local Authorities in England. The survey now also collects data that enables the measurement of National Indicators 8, 9, 10 and 11.
In addition, our team also manages the Young People's Participation in out-of-school sport on behalf of the Department for Education (DofE), and the Wales Outdoor Recreation Study on behalf of the Countryside Council for Wales and Forestry Commission.
Active People Survey
Active People Survey 1 (APS 1) was commissioned by Sport England, the leading sports development agency in England. Ipsos MORI was awarded the contract to carry out the surveys following competitive tendering in July 2005. In total 363,724 interviews were achieved between 13 October 2005 and 16 October 2006.
In August 2008 Ipsos MORI was awarded the contract to conduct APS2, 3 and 4. The survey is conducted by telephone using random digit dialling (RDD) sampling to generate telephone numbers. APS2 fieldwork started on 15 October 2008 and will finish on 14 October 2009. APS2 will achieve 188,800 interviews overall and provide a minimum of 500 interviews in all of the 354 Local Authorities in England. 61,750 boost interviews are also being conducted on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). These interviews comprise the six DCMS questions (see information about National Indicators) and a reduced list of the demographic questions used in APS2.
The primary objective of APS2 is to measure changes in the levels of participation in sport and active recreation and its contribution to improving the health of the nation. Sport and active recreation includes walking and cycling for recreation in addition to more traditional formal and informal sports. When measuring sports participation, the survey not only records the type of activity but also the frequency, intensity and duration of the activity. APS2 will also provide a robust measure of National Indicator 8.
In addition the survey measures changes on a range of other important sport related measures such as club membership, involvement in competition, receiving tuition or coaching and contributing to sport through voluntary activity. The survey provides wide ranging demographic information to enable the identification of participation by different social groups.
In light of Sport England's strategy for 2008 to 2011, and the re-focus of its role to develop community sports, further questions were added in APS2 to establish the level of membership of specific types of sports clubs, specific sports people undertake coaching in and specific sports that are undertaken at a competitive level. A question was also added to ascertain what sports respondents would like to do, or to do more often.
Collection of data to measure National Indicators 9, 10 and 11
Six further questions were added to APS2 at the start of Quarter 3 (14 April 2008) to capture information for the DCMS. These questions will be used to provide a baseline for measurement of Local Authorities achievement against three DCMS policy targets. These targets are:
- To increase attendance at museums and galleries (National Indicator 10)
- To increase use of library services (National Indicator 9)
- To increase attendance of creative, artistic, theatrical or musical events and actual participation in these activities (National Indicator 11).
Further information about the Active People Survey can be found here.
2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Informing the 2012 Education Plan
In 2007, we were commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), now the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), to undertake a large-scale project investigating young people's views about what events and activities they would like to see and be involved in during the lead up to the Games and in what is being promoted as the "Cultural Olympiad."
The DCSF, in partnership with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) is responsible for the 2012 programme objective 3.1.4: Maximise the social benefits, including health, education and volunteering of hosting the Games.
A plan for delivering this has been developed and approved by ministers and covers strands including sport, culture, languages, international links, volunteering and healthy living. While some research and initial consultations have already been conducted, no wider-scale, structured consultation had taken place amongst 5-19 year olds.
The key research objectives of the study were:
- To explore the extent to which young people feel part of the "2012 Generation," and within this,
- Young people's perceptions of the Olympic Games and specifically the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games;
- Young people's aspirations for 2012;
- The extent to which they feel involved;
- To explore what types of activity young people would find exciting and inspirational in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; more specifically, to probe what this would mean for activities in terms of:
- Activity content
- Where activities would be held/located and what venues would be used
- Whether the activities should be ongoing or one off
- Who should have ownership of activities
- How educational establishments could be involved
- How diversity should be celebrated
- How to understand how best to communicate with young people to engage them
- How to give guidance, bearing in mind the aspirations and expectations of young people, regarding directions for the DCSF/DIUS programme.
This research presented the need to elicit rich data in an exploratory, open-ended manner. As such, the focus of the approach was qualitative in nature, with the mainstay of the research combining 144 in-school, mini-group discussions amongst young people up to Year 10 (in 36 schools across all 9 regions in England), and supplemented by 4 friendship pair group discussions amongst older young people (16 to 19 year olds).
A quantitative omnibus study was also conducted among 866 young people in order to provide some statistical evidence to supplement the qualitative findings and to provide a robust measure of opinion on several topic areas.
The full report was published on 31 July 2008.