Sport England | dialling down sport for young people

Sport England’s research into young people’s experiences and feelings about sport exposed a very complicated relationship. They decided that it was time to find a new way of getting young people active. They needed to stop pushing sport, and start helping them discover physical activities that they’d enjoy for life.

Sport England chose the people closest to young people and sport as their envoys: sports leaders and practitioners. They needed to translate their important research in a way that would be useful for them. And they needed to deliver it in a format that they would want to use every day.


The research that I was presented was long, complex and dry. My task was to make sense of it, crafting it into a narrative that would help Sport England’s audiences to engage young people in discovering physical activities they love, and want to take part in regularly.

I created a range of snappy key messages that could be used across different materials, according to audiences and design. Then I planned and wrote Sport England’s resource pack, Under the Skin, keeping the content practical and accessible for busy sports leaders, and the tone down to earth yet engaging. My colleague Jack designed the pack with lively illustrations of people and objects – things like skateboards, pets, teacups, iPhones – to represent young people’s every day environments. He set it up as a digital download and for print as a z-card, perfect for a wallet or a back pocket.

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Sport England launched Under the Skin on Twitter. The tweet became the organisation’s most shared post ever. Sport England are now leading the way in reaching new groups of young people and inspiring them to find activities they’ll enjoy for life.


“You really helped us to clarify the key messages we wanted to deliver. The clear copy and the distinctive illustrations are helping more people notice the work, and understand it.”

– Carol Fraser, Business Advisor, Sport England

*I worked on this project as part of a brilliant team at Neo.