About satellite clubs

The Satellite Club initiative was launched by Sport England in 2013. It brings together existing community sports clubs and new venues in colleges, schools and community contexts. The community club (known as the 'hub' club) sets up an 'extension' in a new venue, with coaches and volunteers linked to the hub club delivering activities to participants with an aim to engage young people who would not otherwise participate in community sport. The initiative aims to provide a stepping stone between school and community sport and to encourage sustained participation particularly among 14-25 year olds, where there is evidence of high levels of drop-out.

Participation levels of participants

These Satellite Clubs participants were fairly 'sporty' before attending Satellite Clubs sessions; over 3 in 4 of them were already taking part in sport at least once per week before attending. At the time they were surveyed, this had increased still further with over 60% taking part three or more times per week and over 90% at least once per week.

Comparing the responses of individual respondents, we see that 48% of these participants are taking part in sport more frequently now than they were before taking part in Satellite Clubs. If this were representative of the overall population of Satellite Clubs participants and this change were sustained, there would be over 800 young people in North Yorkshire doing more sport now than they had previously.

Participants were asked what they would have done if they hadn't started attending Satellite Clubs sessions. Almost half say that if they hadn't attended Satellite Clubs sessions they would not have participated in sport as much as they did, with just under 10% (8%) stating that they would not have participated in sport at all. This broadly reflects the group that were doing no sport before Satellite Clubs. The remaining 55% state that they would have either found another sport (or carried on with one that they were already doing) or, more likely, found another way to take up the sport that they had instead got involved in through Satellite Clubs.

Participants' relationship with sport

Participants also classified themselves in terms of their relationship with sport, with the largest number of respondents describing themselves as enthusiasts, as seen below:

Relationship with Sport

Number of respondents

I love sport and being active. I like to meet new people through sport so we can get involved together

55 (44%)

I like sport but not if everyone is watching me. I like to do well at things I'm passionate about.

21 (17%)

I like sport because it helps me to get better at other things in my life. I want to be the best at everything I do.

20 (16%)

I don't mind sport but I like being with my friends. I don't feel like I need to be the best at sport.

14 (11%)

I don't mind sport but I am not a sporty person. I prefer to be around my close friends or on my own.

11 (9%)

I don't mind sport but I do it because it makes me look and feel better

3 (2%)

124 respondents. Responses rounded so % may not add up to 100%.


The most common motivation for participants to take part in Satellite Clubs was a desire to try a new sport (over 40% of the respondents gave this response) with smaller numbers (between 20% and 30%) hoping to get fit, get back into a sport that they had done previously or to make new friends and meet new people.

Key Motivation

Number of respondents

To try a new sport

55 (43%)

To get fit

36 (28%)

To make friends / meet new people

34 (27%)

To get back into a sport I had done before

27 (21%)

To socialise with existing friends

13 (10%)

To have fun

8 (6%)

To improve and progress in a sport

4 (3%)

Something else (a break from home, growing confidence, or helping others)

4 (3%)

128 respondents. Multiple responses possible so % may not add up to 100%.

Key Point - The fitness aspect of Satellite Club participation is a factor in motivating participants to engage, but it is by no means the most important factor and trying new things and socialising are higher priority (if one combines 'making friends' and 'socialising with existing friends' into a single more general point).

Outcomes measured:

All participants were asked to rate themselves against outcomes mapped by Skyblue and North Yorkshire Sport from qualitative research on a scale of 0-10, self-rating retrospectively for before they attended Satellite Clubs sessions and again for their ratings after attending.

  • Vitality - I feel fit and energetic
  • Competence - I have skills that will help me achieve what I want
  • Engagement - I feel involved and engaged not just in sport but in life
  • Trust and belonging - I am part of a community with people I trust
  • Self-esteem - In general I feel confident about myself and my abilities
  • Satisfying life - I generally feel that what I do in my life is meaningful
  • Emotional well-being - In general I feel very good about myself
  • Resilience - When things go wrong for me, I recover quickly and get back to normal
  • Meaning and Purpose - I feel motivated to achieve what I am capable of
  • Improved physical health, reduced obesity - I am a healthy weight for my height and age
  • Supportive relationships - have good relationships with friends and family

The biggest differences identified were in participants' vitality and competence, with the smallest changes relating to relationships with family and friends. This reflects the frequency with which these changes were identified at qualitative level; improving skills and fitness were two of the most commonly-identified outcomes at that stage.

Participants in the quantitative survey were also asked what they thought the biggest difference the Satellite Club had made to them was. The results are summarised in the word cloud below, but the most common results were around friendship and improved quality and quantity of relationships, fitness, and new skills.

Satellite clubs and females

An interesting finding regarding males and females was that across all eleven outcomes females started at a lower rating than males, but the difference in percentage change was bigger across all outcomes in females. In one case, "relationships with friends and family", the lower percentage score after the sessions were males as females had surpassed their score.

Particularly big gains were observed among females in terms of their vitality (38% uplift), their self-esteem (27% uplift) and their emotional well-being (24% uplift). The largest gain for male participants was in their perceived competence (18% uplift).

Across the whole sample, the social return on investment can be valued at between £2 and £2.50 for every £1 invested. Based on the outcomes identified above, every £1 invested in supporting a female participant has delivered approximately £4 of return. This is not to say that male participants should be ignored, but it does suggest that greater efforts to engage women in sport via satellite clubs can work wonders, particularly around self-esteem and emotional well-being.

Satellite clubs and disability

Across disability, similar to gender in every outcome those with a disability started lower than those without a disability and in all cases observed the biggest difference in change. Those with a disability saw up to a 42% increase in outcomes such as vitality and over 30% in emotional wellbeing.

Summary of Findings

  • Satellite Clubs in North Yorkshire has created value both for participants, and to a lesser extent for the state.
  • This research suggests that over 800 Satellite Clubs participants in North Yorkshire are participating in sport more frequently now than they were before they undertook the project.
  • This additional participation has led to improved well-being for participants, particularly associated with improved sense of vitality, engagement, competence, and trust and belonging to a community.
  • The State has definitely benefitted slightly in terms of reduced burden on the NHS as a result of lower obesity, and may have also benefitted in terms of lower costs associated with anti-social behaviour.
  • In total, for every £1 invested in Satellite Clubs in North Yorkshire, there has been at least a figure of just under £2.50 of social value created.