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New sports club database to elevate physical activity’s role in defining ‘strong’ communities in London

New sports club database to elevate physical activity’s role in defining ‘strong’ communities in London

London Sport is proud to announce a new project commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to map sports clubs across all 33 boroughs in the capital. 

Funded by the GLA and Impact on Urban Health, this sports club database will play a critical role in the Civic Strength Index. The index, a resource commissioned by the GLA, measures factors which make up a ‘strong community’ – these include voter registration and turnout rates, access to public services, and safety. By including London Sport’s database as part of the Civic Strength Index, access to sport and physical activity will be recognised as an important facet of a community’s strength and ability to thrive. 

The database will enable policy makers, local authorities and other organisations to find out how many clubs there are in each location, understand which communities require more support or opportunities to be active, and ensure that future activity programmes can be provided on a needs-basis.  

This work forms part of London Sport’s commitment towards creating sustainable datasets and utilising live data that is made available to the wider sector. London Sport will also overlay information from the Sports Club Database with other datasets to help inform policy and investment in the capital, particularly in areas where inequalities exist, and fewer activities are available to local communities. 

Chris Evans, Head of Digital, Technology & Innovation at London Sport, said: 

“To tackle London’s inactivity crisis, we need innovative and data-led solutions that give a better view of what’s happening on the ground. That’s why we’re excited to be playing our part in helping the GLA and other organisations evaluate the ‘strength’ of different communities through the lens of sport and physical activity provision. 

As well as inputting key data into the Civic Strength Index, this project will mean London Sport can focus its resource on communities who need it most and ensure that more people can access activities to improve their health and wellbeing.” 

To create the database, London Sport will be developing a number of open data publishing tools which will enable organisations to easily publish data by sharing information about sports clubs in an accessible format. This is a new approach towards collecting data sustainably, and work has been taking place with a range of partners including Sport England and the Open Data Institute to create a new ‘open club data standard’ to ensure alignment with OpenActive. 

Working in collaboration with a number of National Governing Bodies, Local Authorities and other strategic partners, London Sport will soon commence this sustainable data collection and publishing process, and continue to develop it throughout 2024. The long-term ambition is for the data tools and infrastructure being funded through this project to eventually be used on a national scale to help drive larger, more impactful solutions to improve England’s activity levels. 

For more information about the Sports Club Database, please contact [email protected] 


About London Sport 

London Sport is a charity that exists to help ensure more Londoners live happier, healthier lives through access to sport and physical activity.  

Supported by Sport England and the Mayor of London, it collaborates with those that share our vision, running and supporting projects that help children, young people and the least active adults to embed sport and physical activity into their lives. 

For more information on London Sport, visit www.londonsport.org 

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