Approaches to Competition: Research

The Youth Sport Trust (YST) aims to support schools, clubs, and families to remove the causes of negative experiences in sport for young people, and to ensure youth sport in the UK is inclusive, accessible, and fun.

Insight gained from the Girls Active programme identified that the over-emphasis on competition in sport is a challenge for some young people. This led to the YST's Research and Insight team conducting desk research to explore possible alternative competition formats.

Utilising the desktop research findings, and in light of the 2016 School Games review recommendation, the YST (funded by the Sport England National Lottery) launched a pilot project to evaluate the feasibility of conducting alternative competition formats through the School Games Organiser network with the overarching aim of increasing young people’s participation in sport and physical activity.

The 2016 School Games review recommendation outlined: 'Formats, guidance, and training support across all levels of the School Games will be refreshed to ensure they fully support the ambitions of ‘towards an active nation’ and in particular engender a sense of competence, promote enjoyment regardless of youngsters’ level of ability, and avoid negative/bad experience of competitive school sport.'

The research documents from the pilot and a summary document of the desk research from the YST can be found on the right-hand side of this page, alongside a full list of the case studies and launch of #ReframeCompetition.