Legacy 2014 Physical Activity Fund Programme Evaluation

The Legacy 2014 Physical Activity Fund seeks to address one of the challenges identified in evaluation of legacies from previous major sporting events – encouraging people who have low levels of physical activity to become more active. Whilst there is strong evidence that those already active can be inspired by such events, including the recent 2012 Summer Olympics in London or the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, those who are physically inactive or engaged with limited physical activity are considered less likely to be inspired and become active.

For the Scottish Government, and other partners involved with the 2014 Commonwealth Games, increasing the proportion of the population meeting recommended physical activity levels was viewed as a key legacy aspiration for the Games. Under the long term planning for generating a lasting legacy, Scottish Government identified one of the four legacy themes as ‘Active’ recognising that “the Games offered the potential to inspire the people of Scotland to be more physically active and take part in sport, helping us have an Active Scotland.”

One component of this plan has been the creation of legacy projects that look to extend the impact of the Games through directed support for communities and projects across the country. One of these legacy projects was the funding of a Physical Activity Fund in 2015 with the aim of learning what is working in local areas in getting people currently inactive to become more active in order to scale up these successes.

An interdisciplinary team evaluation team from the University of Strathclyde were commissioned by the Spirit of 2012 on behalf of Scottish Government to research and refine appropriate evaluation methods for learning lessons from the impact of these community led projects.

The Strathclyde team brings together a combination of specialist knowledge relating to changing behaviour and increasing physical activity levels, including amongst young people (David Rowe), healthy adults and those living with chronic diseases (Alison Kirk). We have expertise in the wider social issues about improving physical activity and wellbeing (Sir Harry Burns) and in the use of new forms of assistive technologies (Marilyn Lennon) and of user behaviour (Mark Dunlop). Robert Rogerson (PI) and Sue Sadler both bring expertise in funding programme evaluation and statistical analysis. Each researcher has considerable experience of working with community organisations, bringing together a range of data collection methods and analytic tools to help deliver health and wellbeing outcomes.