Sport and social inclusion: Evidence from the performance of public leisure facilities

Yi De Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


In the UK, sport is increasingly recognized as a means for promoting social inclusion. However, evaluation, to date, is limited with regard to the achievement of social inclusion through sport. Based on the database of Sport England's National Benchmarking Service, this paper aims to investigate the extent to which public leisure facilities were used by socially disadvantaged groups in England over the past 10 years. The statistical evidence demonstrates the consistent pattern of numerical under-representation of the most disadvantaged socio-economic group and people aged over 60 years. Furthermore, there were significant and linear decreases in participation of young people aged 11-19 years and disabled people aged under 60 years. Finally, facility type and management type were found to be the main sources of performance gaps in certain indicators. In spite of these findings, further research is still required to investigate whether under-representation and the deterioration of performance are due to constraints or preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-337
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Leisure facilities
  • National Benchmarking Service
  • Social inclusion
  • Sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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