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AoC Sport is committed to ensuring every student has the opportunity to be physically active. To do this, our work focuses on increasing diversity within our programmes and tackling inequalities through research, and insight led projects.

- Disabilities
- Women and Girls
- Ethnic minorities
- Low socio-economic


“We know that almost one in five people in England have a long-standing limiting disability or illness, and that compared to other groups, disabled people are much less likely to take part in sport or physical activity.

Data from the latest Active Lives Adult Survey shows that disabled people or those born with a long-term health condition are twice as likely to be physically inactive (43%), compared with those without (23%). Furthermore, it increases sharply the more impairments an individual has – 51% of those with three or more impairments are inactive.” Sport England

At AoC Sport we work with colleges and Natspec colleges to support young people with disabilities into sport and physical activities through our development projects and competitions, including the Natspec Games.

We also work with National Governing bodies such as The LTA and organisations such as The Activity Alliance to support with research and to ensure that we are providing colleges with relevant insight and guidance as well as sporting opportunities.

Women and Girls

Even though we have seen the profile of women and girls sport grow over the last few years, the fact still remains that they are less likely to be active than males.

As a part of our work to help close the activity gender gap, we use a number of different initiatives for college students to help inspire and encourage females into sport and volunteering, including our This Girl Can Ambassadors.

“Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign has made significant strides in this area by understanding and addressing the barriers to being active that women and girls report. Delivered via an innovative campaign model, it has used paid media, partnerships and activations to reach women and girls who don’t normally engage with sport and physical activity.” Sport England

Ethnic Minorities

Research is still showing us that people of South Asian, Black and other ethnic origins are more likely be inactive. We also know that cultural and religious beliefs can play a part in people's motivations to be active.

At AoC we are committed to understanding the different lived experiences of young people including their motivations and barriers when it comes to participating, competing and volunteering in sport and physical activity. Our initiatives and support to colleges aim to remove barriers and provide insight-based approaches to help reduce inactivity of people from ethnic minorities.


In comparison with other student group there is very limited data and insight on the activity levels of the LGBTQ+ community and the barriers and motivations to participate. AoC Sport will be developing research and insight to support colleges to improve their offer for LGBTQ+ students.

We will also support colleges with key changes in policies and guidance where necessary, such as our Trans Inclusion Guidance for Colleges

Low socio-economic

“People in lower socio-economic groups (LSEGs) are the most likely to be inactive (33%) and the least likely to be active (54%). And with nearly a third of the adult population in England - around 12 million people - in a LSEG, that is a significant number of people who could reap huge benefits from being more active.” Sport England

We know that many barriers to sport and physical activity that the population experience are magnified for those that are from low socio-economic backgrounds. We want to understand and remove as many barriers as possible for students in college, to help them be more active.

AoC Sport - Diversity and Inclusion Projects

Inclusion Hubs

- Aoc Sport project fund to increase participation activities for under-served groups.

Volunteer Development Fund

- AoC Sport project fund to diversify the workforce in colleges

Inclusion Ambassadors

- A part of our wider AoC Sport Student Leadership Programme. Student volunteers are tasked with increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups.

This Girl Can Ambassadors

- A part of our wider AoC Sport Student Leadership Programme. Student volunteers are tasked with increasing opportunities for females.

LTA Disability Tennis Project

- LTA project fund and equipment package to provide Tennis opportunities for students with disabilities or to support mental wellbeing.

Rising Leaders

- Rising Leaders is a programme funded by The Football Association (The FA) and delivered by AoC Sport as part of their commitment to increase the diversity of female volunteers and to develop greater equality of opportunities to ensure that more diverse female volunteers aspire to work and volunteer within Football.

Access Sport Disabled Girls Research

- Women In Sport are working with Access Sport with support from AoC Sport to research into the experiences of teenage disabled girls in sport and physical activity.

Special Olympics Volunteer Programme

- Special Olympics are providing Sports Leaders qualifications to students in colleges to support those with disabilities.

Natspec Games

- A sport and physical activity (games) event for specialist colleges.

Rainbow Laces

- AoC Sport are proud to support the Stonewall UK Rainbow Laces campaign. We are asking colleges to Lace Up and Speak Up to help drive meaningful change and make a commitment to making football more welcoming for LGBTQ+ people.

The FA Women’s Football Development Apprentice Programme

- In partnership with The FA, we run the FA Women’s Football Apprenticeship programme will employ a Women’s Football Development Officer (Apprentice) to increase female participation in football.

For more information on any of our projects please contact; Yasmin Senior – Development Officer Diversity and Inclusion.