The significance of research cannot be understated


Amazing work often takes place in the voluntary sector, but the process for recording success is often only anecdotal. This can result in good work being lost only to be reinvented at a later stage. We firmly believe that theory and practice should be intertwined so as to inform best practice and ensure progress.

Our commitment to

academic research

Academic research at the highest level is essential in providing information which informs action, gather evidence for theories, and contribute to developing knowledge in a particular field of study informing strategic professional thinking.

Our commitment to research into our own work has helped us to understand the learning journey, provide evidence of impact or change which in turn informs the practice moving forward. Theory and practice in our view must always be the same therefore we are committed to building solid relationships with renowned academic centres where knowledge exchange can take place.


Below are some of the publications that Sporting Communities feature in.


Building Safety: Co-designing safety and fairness into the ‘missing’ response for young people in care who are at risk beyond their families.

(Lauren Elizabeth Wroe, 2024)

House of Lords report


Using young people’s stories to gather evidence and show impact

(Children & Young People Now, 2023)

House of Lords report


Contextual Safeguarding: Resilient Communities blog

(Durham University, 2023)

House of Lords report


Re-imagining Playwork through a Poststructural Lens: Stories from the climbing frame. 

(Dr Linda Shaw, 2023)

House of Lords report


Improving Community Cohesion and Integration in Stoke-on-Trent: An Evaluation of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Community Development Initiatives

(Keele University, 2022)

Improving Community Cohesion


Evaluation of the 2021 holiday activities and food programme

(Cox et al. 2022)

Evaluation of the 2021 holiday activities and food programme


A National Plan for Sports, Health and Wellbeing

(House of Lords, 2021)

House of Lords report


Coaching for All

(Mason et al. 2021)

CFA Coaching for all Research report


Together, We Can Achieve Unity

(Tyrrell et al. 2021)

Belong Shared Learning RFHC

Practice: searching and re/searching

(Cartmel, 2015)

Common Threads - Journal of Playwork Practice

The efficiency of playwork as a universal service

(Podyma, 2015)

Common Threads - Journal of Playwork Practice


Sport and Social Exclusion

(Collins and Kay, 2002)

Common Threads - Journal of Playwork Practice

Research and Evaluation

We pride ourselves in demonstrating our impact and social return on
investment. Our Research and Evaluation team is available to help you demostrate your impact through high-quality reports and infographics.

If you would like support in demonstrating your success email our Research and Evaluation Officer.

Through our commitment to research, we reassure that the work and the learning can inform high-quality provision for the future.