Platypus Talks With…Ceris Anderson, Insight Manager at StreetGames

Ceris commissioned Platypus to partner with StreetGames on a project aiming to understand young people's barriers to sport, from the young people themselves (read the full Sector Challenges article).


Here, Ceris talks about how StreetGames is using this piece of research to support organisations to increase engagement in sport and physical activity with young people.


1. Why did you want to run the project/what problem did you want to solve?

We know that the Coronavirus Pandemic and now, the cost-of-living crisis, has impacted strongly on young people’s lives and their ability to be active.  We wanted to hear from young people - develop up-to-date, deeper understanding of their lives and help those in the sports sector (and beyond) to better target and tailor activities to meet their differing needs and motivations of young people/ minimise the barriers they face, through the creation of youth segments.


2. How have you used it? What impacts are you seeing? What success have you had?

It’s early days….but so far we have undertaken a comms launch to amplify the issues raised by young people and advocate on their behalf.  We have also disseminated the findings through a series of webinars for those working in the sports sector to help grow understanding about the needs and motivations amongst this audience.  

Building on from this dissemination phase, we next hope to activate the research by: creating cohorts of interested partners wishing to activate ‘test & learn’ approaches, directly activate test and learn approaches with community organisations in the StreetGames network and undertake workforce training. Internally we also plan to use the findings to update information within some of the training workshops we provide, create new guides and resources, undertake further advocacy and fundraising to secure more resources for this work. 

We’ve had really positive responses so far from the research – it is proving really useful in both opening up new and building on existing partnerships with large numbers attending the webinars.


3. What challenges do you see ahead?

We know that it is going to take time / resources to activate and embed the learning.  For some in the sector, it will require significant organisational behaviour change / doing things differently if as a sector we are going to tackle the inequalities that exist in sport – particularly in the current economic climate. 


4. What do you think will be needed in the future?  What questions has it thrown up?

It has made us even more committed to the value of youth voice. We are therefore, keen to build more opportunities for youth voice in our work, in partnership with young people and others, we want to co-create more opportunities for young people from lower-income households to take part in sport and be active. We are also mindful, that the survey was undertaken at a specific point in time (i.e. post Pandemic and during the cost of living crisis) therefore, it feels important to re-run the survey again in circa 2-3 years time to see what has changed. 

For us as an organisation, some of the findings have ‘prompted us’ to consider where new partnerships/collaborations may be needed – for example the findings highlighted that a significant proportion of the young people in the survey either had been diagnosed or perceived themselves to be neurodiverse, we would welcome working with others who have expertise in this field.


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