UK sports index: Londoners and Mancunians have the worst access to sports clubs in the country

Study finds that kids in Wolverhampton and Bradford have the best access to sports clubs, whilst Londoners and Mancunians have the worst

  • The average cost for kids to start a sport is £274
  • Sports Direct launches a new discount scheme, offering up to 70% off a selection of kids’ sports equipment

A new study has revealed which cities have the best and worst access to sports clubs in the UK, with London and Manchester ranking the worst.

The research, carried out by Sports Direct, found that residents of the West Midlands city of Wolverhampton have the best access to sports clubs and facilities in the country, with a total of 44 clubs per capita (100,000 people).

The research revealed the top five cities with the best access to sports clubs:
1. Wolverhampton (44 clubs per 100k)
2. Bradford (42 clubs per 100k)
3. Belfast (36 clubs per 100k)
4. Coventry (31 clubs per 100k)
5. Southampton (29 clubs per 100k)

The cities with the least access to sports clubs include:
1. London (3 per 100k)
2. Manchester (8 per 100k)
3. Nottingham (8 per 100k)
4. Hull, (10 per 100k)
5. Plymouth (13 per 100k)

The research also examined which sports are the most and least expensive for children to participate in, with cricket taking the top spot, with a total start-up cost of £419. Parents will need to purchase products such as cricket bats and protective pads, meaning that the sport has the most expensive equipment cost of £269, and membership fees of £150. At the opposite end of the scale, costing £131 on average, swimming is the cheapest sport for children.

Despite the importance of sport however, due to the cost of living crisis, many parents face the difficult decision of whether or not they can continue to afford to pay for their child to take part in extra curricular sports and activities. To help address this problem, Sports Direct is launching an indefinite discount scheme, offering savings of up to 70% across a range of core products for multiple sports.

Scott Sparks, Sports Digital Trading Lead at Sports Direct, says: “Sport is a vital part of childhood development, with benefits for both mental and physical health, as well as their confidence and social skills. However, not everyone has equal access to sport, depending on where they live, as well as their family income.

“We wanted to highlight the barriers that UK parents face when it comes to putting their kids in the position to enjoy the sports that they love, whether the barriers are financial or geographical.

“No child should have their access to sport blocked by factors outside of their control, and we hope our new initiative goes some way towards allowing kids to participate in the activities they love. So whether your child needs a new set of golf clubs, or they’ve outgrown their old pair of adidas boots, we hope that this initiative goes some way towards helping keep them playing the sports they love.”

For more information and to access the discount scheme, visit:

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4102 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.