The Most Popular School Sports (Besides Football!) - SportsHotels - The sports accommodation experts

The Most Popular School Sports (Besides Football!)

Football is part of our culture and it’s the most popular sport in and out of schools in a randomly selected week, research showed that more than 34% of youngsters aged 5-16 had played sport in that week! Fortunately, there has been significant growth in other sports at school level, giving more kids the opportunity to find their strengths and join a team.

School sport is an important gateway to activity and personal growth for everyone, and the team is dedicated to helping school teams and grassroots club sports grow.

We have told you previously about the amazing popularity of Netball at all levels, and this is being introduced at more schools all the time, but there are many more such as hockey, rounders, boxing rugby, canoeing, cricket, volleyball, athletics, and swimming that are easy to take up and carry a relatively low cost for the school and participants. Some schools are even introducing dodgeball and ultimate frisbee to keep things interesting!

The top five school sports in the UK are:

  1. Football
  2. Netball
  3. Athletics
  4. Rugby
  5. Cricket

The popularity of those top five is followed in descending order by hockey, basketball, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, badminton, and cross-country.

As the availability of sports in schools is so varied in different regions and across different income levels, the statistics are constantly changing, but there is definitely a trend towards providing more diverse sports that offer a range of opportunities and cater to different interests and abilities.

What’s Being Done To Promote Growth Of School Sport?

Government is helping kids to be active at school with investments such as the PE and Sport Premium, which was backed by £320 million in 2022/23. This covers various things, depending on the school and what’s available, but tends to include encouraging kids to be more active at break times, swimming lessons, and after-school/holiday sports programmes. There has also been investment in encouraging girls to play more sport and providing equal access.  

The School Games programme “Puts physical activity and school sport at the heart of schools, providing young people with the opportunity to learn through competition to achieve their personal best.” Since 2010 it has registered 19,500 schools in England. In addition to organising competitive events, the programme provides free sports resources for schools, such as fun badminton challenges, an introduction to friendly netball formats, and orienteering activity guidelines.

All these school sports provide much-needed physical and mental health benefits, and have been shown to contribute to social wellbeing, brain activity and school performance, but there is still so much more that needs to be done. According to the Youth Sports Trust’s 2023 annual report on PE and School Sport, “47% of children and young people in the UK are getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day,” and 54% of young people would like to do more exercise or sport than they are currently doing. is doing all we can to help school and grassroots teams get more involved in sport by helping with accommodation and travel. We encourage other businesses to invest in the growth of sport too, and help youngsters at all levels to play the sports they love.

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