The Data for Children Collaborative supports a collaborative project investigating how Covid-19 has impacted children and young people’s involvement in sport and exercise.
The project is a collaboration between the Data for Children Collaborative, Abertay University’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, the Observatory for Sport in Scotland and private data companies and is being delivered using Data for Children Collaborative bespoke Impact Collaborations process.
The Data for Children Collaborative is a specialist unit within the Edinburgh Futures Institute that develops and deliver demand-driven projects that use data to produce actionable insights for real-world impact on the world’s children.
The collaborative team will track how participation rates among 5-18 year olds compare before, during and after the pandemic.
Abertay University researchers will visit schools across Scotland to carry out inclusive and interactive engagement sessions.
Children can draw pictures or maps explaining their favourite activities, take part in sports challenges and talk directly to researchers about their participation levels.
Young people aged 13-18 years will also be invited to fill in an online survey – where they can share their experiences of taking part in sport, the barriers that might have stopped them from being active, and what sports and exercise might look like in an ideal world.
In a separate survey, the parents and carers are also invited to share their families’ experiences.
As the responses are gathered in, Data for Children Collaborative experts will assist efforts to identify the key emerging trends.
Lack of reliable data
Scotland currently lacks reliable data on recreational sport and exercise trends and the initiative is an attempt to address that knowledge gap.
Through the study, the Data for Children Collaborative hopes to provide actionable insights for policy makers as they decide future funding priorities for children’s sport in Scotland.
Fraser Macdonald, Deputy Director of the Data for Children Collaborative, says the project’s strength is combining national-level data with real-life experiences. He explains:
“This collaboration highlights the power of academia, the private and public sectors working together, and how each of those areas brings different strengths to look at a problem in a new way. The unique aspect of this project is our focus on combining national-level data with real-life experiences, building a 360 view of how young people, families, and organisations have been impacted. We look forward to shedding new light and improving outcomes for young people across Scotland.”