SportsAid undertakes an athlete survey each year to help highlight and better understand the sacrifices made by the next generation of sports stars - and their families - as they look to pursue their ambitions.
SportsAid's annual athlete survey, delivered by Nunki Solutions, has been conducted since 2007. The questions cover a range of topics including biggest challenges, motivations and inspirations, targets for the future, the importance of SportsAid support and the cost implications of their sport. The most recent survey results were released in September 2019.
The survey was completed by 650 athletes - that’s a response rate of 62%. There was a near even gender split (51% female, 49% male) overall with a slight skew among disabled athletes (55% male, 45% female). 80% of the respondents are non-disabled (520 athletes) and 20% disabled (130 athletes). 88% compete in an Olympic and Paralympic discipline.
The overall average spend for a SportsAid athlete has risen to £7,089. That’s a jump of £2,204 (over 45%) compared to the first survey conducted in 2007/08 – underlining the importance of the charity.
Overall average spend per athlete
2018/19 – £7,089
2017/18 – £7,266
2016/17 – £6,417
2015/16 – £6,193
2014/15 – £5,912
2013/14 – £6,193
2012/13 – £6,022
2011/12 – £6,438
2010/11 – £5,576
2009/10 – £4,898
2008/09 – £5,022
2007/08 – £4,885
SportsAid athletes are going to great lengths as they bid to reach the top of their sport. They travel large distances to keep up with their sporting schedule – all while balancing this with an already hectic lifestyle. They usually train during the evening but many have early morning sessions too.
The key motivation for SportsAid athletes is the opportunity to compete internationally at the highest level. They see their family, as well as witnessing the success of other athletes, as the main driving forces behind why they took up their sport. Nearly half of disabled athletes are aiming to reach the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with the inspiration gained from London 2012 still front of mind.
SportsAid athletes have felt the impact of the charity’s backing. The finance and recognition from SportsAid has given them a motivational boost while supporting them in reaching their targets. For many, it has enabled them to train and compete more often as they look to progress further.