Under the skin of our youth personalities

Sport England have uncovered a range of new insights into young people's behaviours and motivations

This new wave of research builds on our youth insight published in 2014, with a host of findings to help influence how we get young people active.

Working with research agency YouthSight, Sport England delved into the personalities, behaviours, attitudes and aspirations of young people.

They're compiled in a comprehensive pack Under the Skin, which breaks down young people into six key personas. Only by understanding these various groups can we design the best possible programmes to get young people active.

Each category is broken down into a series of key traits, based on extensive research talking to scores of young people.

Youth Insight

A 2014 Sport England review into young people's lives found sport needs to adapt how it presents itself to broaden its reach and increase the proportion of young people regularly participating:

  • Young people's behaviours do not always reflect their attitudes to sport – we need to focus more on changing behaviours and less of changing attitudes
  • Many young people take part in sport/activity for more functional or lifestyle reasons – keep engaging them and providing feedback on what actually matters to them not what matters to sport
  • Sport can provoke strong emotional responses. Whilst the activity can be sport, the message that sells it doesn't have to be. Levelling the playing field can also help overcome the emotional baggage of sport
  • Sport often has to compete or connect with wider interests or priorities. Young people respond well to meaningful experiences; those which benefit them as an individual, reinforce their place in their social group or help them develop
  • The supply of sport tends to reach those already engaged. Young people, particularly those in their late teens/early 20s, need to feel the community sport offer is specific enough to their needs and fits with their lives