Activity sessions are reaching under-served children in Bristol

Physical activity sessions run by Bristol Sport Foundation are reaching primary school children living in some of the most under-served areas of the city, according to data analysis supported by Bristol Health Partners Active Lives Health Integration Team (HIT).

Bristol Sport Foundation runs activities for children and young people in greater Bristol. It aims to use the power of sport to create active, healthy and happy communities, and address some of the health inequalities Bristol faces.

The Foundation ran in-school and after school sport and physical activity sessions in five primary schools in Easton, Fishponds and St. Pauls. It worked in partnership with the Bristol City Council School Improvement Team to access detailed information about the socio-demographic breakdown of each school.

Read the Bristol Sport Foundation activity report

Funding from Active Lives HIT then enabled the Foundation to cross-reference this data with the sport and physical activity provision they offered in these schools, and then analyse what was found.

The Foundation provided 210 hours of sport and physical activity in school to 595 children from the five target schools in Term One of 2022-3. This equated to these young people benefiting from a total of 7,602 hours of sport and physical activity.

  • 72.2% of the children taking part came from a non-White-British background (compared to 40.2% across Bristol) 
  • 49.9% had English as an additional language (compared to 20.1% across Bristol) 
  • 36% qualified for free school meals (compared to 27.4% across Bristol) 

Additionally, the Foundation reached 198 pupils with a seven-week sports course after school. These 84 hours of physical activity equated to 1,386 hours of physical activity among the children. 

The Foundation hopes to expand this model to support the targeting and evaluation of activities by physical activity providers across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. 

Ben Breeze, CEO of Bristol Sport Foundation, said: “Taking part in sport from a young age can make a big difference to a child’s outcomes – whether that’s in school attainment, behaviour, or overall physical and mental health. 

“We know that every young person on our programmes benefits from increased physical activity, but until now, we haven’t been able to demonstrate that these activities are reaching those communities that need it most. This grant has enabled us to take the first step towards understanding the contribution that we make to addressing health inequalities in greater Bristol. 

“Our ambition is to make a data portal available to all sport and physical activity providers in the region so they can map their impact in the same way, which will ultimately show the difference we are making collectively.” 

Sally Hogg, Consultant in Public Health, Bristol City Council, said: “We are delighted with the work that the Bristol Sport Foundation are delivering across Bristol’s schools. We are continually looking to develop our evidence and insight to demonstrate the value of activities and programmes being delivered. The approach taken by the Bristol Sport Foundation does just this and specifically helps illustrate the reach that targeted resources can have.”



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