The generation gap: BME participation in culture found to be significantly influenced by age

New research funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport has helped to increase understanding of the factors influencing participation in culture.

Based on a statistical analysis of Taking Part 2007/08, the study, Understanding the drivers, impact and value of engagement in culture and sport (pdf, 575kb) suggests, for example, that:

  • In the cases of visiting a heritage site, attending an arts event, or visiting a museum, young people from BME and non-BME groups were found to have a similar probability of engaging in culture, while among older people those from a BME group were less likely to engage in culture. For example, older ethnic minorities were found to be around half as likely to attend arts events as older people not from ethnic minorities.
  • Households scoring ‘low’ on socio-economic measures were found to be 4 times less likely to engage in culture than those scoring high.
  • Females were found to be 3 times less likely to participate in sport than males.
  • Probability of participation in culture during adulthood is positively correlated with childhood participation levels.

While some of the trends highlighted in the study are familiar (and the subject of past research), the methodological approach taken by authors provides us with authoritative percentages and figures against known trends.

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BIG research quantifies the benefits of investment in sports facilities

Research into the impact of the Big Lottery-funded New Opportunities for PE and Sport programme (NOPES) has captured valuable information about some of the benefits of investment in sport.

The research (PDF, 452kb), which included a survey with nearly 2,000 young people, sought to quantify the impact of NOPES, which involved a £751 million investment in PE and sport facilities and activities across the UK (2002-2009).

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Free swim initiative a hit with West Midlands residents

Data recently released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport highlights the popularity of the government’s Free Swim programme in the region.

Over 410,000 ‘free swims’ were taken by local residents during April– September 2009, a total exceeded only by the North West region.

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Diagnosis of the Active People Survey online diagnostic tool

Active people

Active People Diagnostic is an interactive online tool that enables you to explore Sport England’s Active People Survey results in detail.

I’ve been aware of this tool for some time, but have recently become more interested in its capabilities since the results of the second Active People Survey were added – meaning the tool now allows for comparison between the results of Active People 1 (2005/06) and Active People 2 (2007/08).

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Ethnicity and social class: most influential factors in West Midlands’ cultural participation

According to the Regional Lifestyle Survey, of all demographic factors, residents’ ethnicity and social class best predict what they choose to do with their leisure time and how much importance they attach to local cultural facilities.

The Survey, published by the West Midlands Regional Observatory in 2005, used a region-wide postal questionnaire to explore a range of lifestyle-related issues with residents, including their level of participation in cultural pursuits.

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Sports participation in England

Sport England has recently published a series of sports information packs for 42 sports which bring together research data from the Active People Survey, Taking Part Survey and Sport England’s market segmentation research.

The packs provide a detailed overview of each sport with data and analysis including:

  • Participation data by key demographic groups
  • Demographic profile of participants
  • Seasonal and regional participation rates
  • Participation rates among 11-15 year olds
  • Drop off rates among 16-18 year olds
  • Organised sport
  • Information from Sport England’s market segmentation

As riders are currently competing in this year’s Tour de France with Britain’s Mark Cavendish hitting the headlines with an unprecedented four stage victories in the opening two weeks of the Tour, I thought I’d take a quick look at the Cycling information pack. Continue reading