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How do we motivate inactive people to become active? How do we reach the ‘hard to reach’? 

Professor Dame Sue Bailey, the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said in 2015, “I believe that if physical activity was a drug it would be classed as a wonder drug.”

Despite this kind of endorsement from the medical profession and the combined efforts of sport and leisure organisations throughout the country, around 43% of the population admit to not taking the Public Health recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week. They remain resolutely inactive.

Most leisure and culture trusts (charitable social enterprise) have the aim of increasing physical activity levels at their core. As community based organisations they have social as well as financial objectives and align with their client local authorities to tackle local issues, prime amongst which is engaging with challenging groups and individuals to increase physical activity.

Sport England has a similar national aim of increasing participation in sport and physical activity and in 2013 recognised the unique position of leisure and culture trusts and their potential to make an impact on this agenda, by agreeing to a unique funding partnership. Sporta, the national association for social enterprises within leisure and culture, was awarded £2.14 million to be distributed amongst its members (in England) in order to part fund a series of pilot initiatives aimed at recruiting new people to physical activity programmes and with a view to enabling behaviour change. Whilst there were target numbers to meet, the most important thing would be to encourage new approaches, new partnerships and to find out what works and what doesn’t for a whole range of different target groups.

So, Make Your Move was born. A programme board was appointed with voices from leisure and culture trusts, academia, public health, Sport England and sports organisations; and imaginative bids invited from Sporta member trusts. Importantly, an emphasis was placed on monitoring, evaluation and learning.

Please do take a look at the 'Projects' page via the tab at the top of this page which includes information on all the funded projects. 

Accompanying this is the 'Impacts' page via the tab at the top of this page, which contains all the reflections and perspectives, evaluation and learning drawn from the 40+ separate projects that have impacted on thousands of individuals, most of whom were previously inactive or not as active as they should be. The 'Impacts' page provides a valuable resource for organisations serious about recruiting the ‘hard to reach’ but it also demonstrates that those people are ‘hard to reach’ for a variety of reasons and solutions can be equally complex.

Both Sporta and the programme board, hope that leisure and culture trusts will be able to use the resources to help pursue this agenda in their localities. Equally, iti s hoped that funding organisations will recognise the value of this approach and the important lessons learned about how to get people active.


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