Regional Differences in Sports Participation: The Case of Local Authorities in England

Themis Kokolakakis
Fernando Lera-López
Pablo Castellanos

This paper investigates the determinants of sports participation at regional level in England by applying beta models to Sport England’s Active People Survey. We analyze the differences in the regional characteristics among 325 English Local Authorities (LAs). The results show the importance of some socio-demographic variables such as educational level, ethnicity, and size of population; economic variables (income levels and occupations); sport volunteering; and weather conditions. Neither medium term sports funding nor sports infrastructure are significant factors in explaining differences of sports participation among the English LAs. The findings suggest a need for cross-party consensus on sports policy over time to safeguard continuity of policy objectives beyond the four-year government term.