Alliance launch survey to assess impact of COVID-19 and cost of living increases on grassroots activity

SHU Covid and Cost of Living Survey ()

Over the past two years sports clubs and community groups have faced testing circumstances; both with the Covid-19 pandemic and now with the increase in the cost of living.

Last year we undertook a survey to understand the impact of Covid-19 on clubs and what they projected would be the impact once restrictions were lifted.

The results of the survey had a huge impact within the sport and recreation sector, ensuring financial support was as widely available as possible and enabling sport to be among the first sectors to reopen as restrictions started to lift.

To follow on from last year’s study, the Sport and Recreation Alliance has commissioned the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University to undertake a further survey of grassroots clubs and groups delivering sport and recreation to their communities.

The survey focuses on the effects of Covid-19 on clubs/groups and if/how they will be impacted by the increase in the cost of living. The findings from this research will inform the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s policy demands with the government with a view to ensuring effective industry support is in place to sustain our network of clubs and groups that help keep us physically active.

You can view, complete and share the survey here.

This work has been made possible by our partners Sport:80, who have worked to secure and provide funding for the project. Their commitment to this project underlines their dedication to grassroots sport and recreation. The Sport:80 Platform is a complete sports business management system used by 50+ sports organisations and NGBs worldwide to increase operational efficiency and revenue generation, richer member engagement, and rock solid compliance.

Why ask about Covid-19 now?

With Covid-19 restrictions appearing unlikely to return, the aim of this survey is to understand the overall impact of Covid-19 on your club and its participants. We will do this by asking you the position of your club before the pandemic and its position now; how Covid-19 has played a role in any changes between these positions; and what could be done to help your club complete its recovery.

Why ask about increases to the cost of living?

Further, early reporting indicates community sport and recreation faces a new challenge with significant increases in the cost of living already stretching both club and household budgets. As before, we would like you to tell us how this is already impacting on your club; what could be the impact on your operations over the next year; and what the government and the sport and recreation sector can do to limit the negative impacts on the grassroots club network?

How long will the survey take to complete?

Last year most clubs took around 15-20 minutes to complete the survey, and we estimate a similar completion time this year. 

The survey is broken into six themes, please give each of them your full attention. The survey is designed to be completed by someone with a working knowledge of your organisation’s operations on a day-to-day basis. Where we ask you about specific figures, how these changed throughout Covid restrictions and how they might change over the next 12 months, an informed estimate is sufficient, you DO NOT need to provide precise figures.

Please note, you will be able to save your answers and return to the survey provided you use the same device and IP address.

How will the information be shared?

We will aim to produce headline findings from the data collected in September. As a minimum, we will provide each organisation that has helped in disseminating the survey with a dashboard of findings relating to your members and the activities to which they are associated with.

We will endeavour to provide anonymised raw data of respondents relevant to your organisations to allow for further analysis.

The information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence and will be aggregated anonymously along with the responses received from other organisations, to be used only for the purposes of this project.  Your organisation's responses will not be shared with any third party other than in this anonymised and aggregated form. 

When is the deadline to complete the survey?

The deadline to complete the survey is midnight on Monday 22 August.

For further information about this project please contact our Research and Development team at


Sport:80 ()