Today, Access Sport announced a new partnership with Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure to pilot a game-changing inclusive community sport offer centred around leisure centres.

This partnership aims to develop a new national Inclusive Club Support model that recognises the important role of leisure centres as hubs for positive change in community sport.

Traditionally, leisure centres up and down the country struggle to engage with disadvantaged and disabled young people in their local areas. For example, only 17% of public leisure centre users are from deprived communities.1

Understandably, staff are not typically experts in social and disability inclusion and often don’t have the tools to work with these young people.

To tackle this challenge leisure providers are increasingly recognising the need to work in partnership with expert organisations. As leading experts in social and disability inclusion, we have recognised this gap and are actively working with partners like Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure and to address this issue. 

This pioneering project will initially be based in leisure centres in Derbyshire and Devon and will deliver social and disability inclusion training and development support to local community clubs.

The training will focus on building local connections with communities, upskilling coaches and developing new inclusive programmes. The project will then be reviewed with a view to creating a national offer that can impact the lives of thousands of disadvantaged and disabled young people.

Helen Rowbotham, the CEO of Access Sport said:

“We are excited to be working with Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure to pilot this exciting new concept. Working in partnership, we aim to create a new Leisure Centre focussed Inclusive Club offer that will enable more children and young people to access the transformational benefits of community sport. These benefits include mental and physical health, life skills and prospects, a sense of belonging and community engagement.”

Andy Farr, Strategic Director representing both Legacy Leisure and Lex Leisure said:

“Working in partnership with Access Sport provides us with a great opportunity to further engage and support our local clubs, with the aim of improving inclusion and providing a range of benefits for children and young people especially.”

Interested in learning more about how we are promoting long-term change in the sport and physical activity sector? Please visit the webpage below:
Access Sport System Change


About Legacy Leisure

Legacy Leisure is a not-for-profit charitable organisation committed to providing a diverse and meaningful range of leisure and culture related activities for the local communities in which we serve. Established to support a national legacy following the Olympics, Legacy Leisure seeks to educate, inspire and support physical activity, to enhance the lives of our patrons and enable long term positive lifestyle changes. Legacy Leisure is passionate about improving the health and well-being of our patrons, and aims to offer a diverse range of physical and cultural activities that will engage and invigorate communities, be it through sport, the arts or other activities.

Find out more:

About Lex Leisure

About Lex leisure Lex Leisure is a Community Interest Company (CIC), structured as a private company limited by guarantee. Lex Leisure seeks to operate leisure venues on a commercial basis with a view to generating a surplus that can be used for our principal objective of supporting those who are disabled, physically or mentally or who require support or bespoke care plans to stay physically active. Lex Leisure, working with key partners, wants to empower disabled people to take a more active role in all aspects of sport and physical activity and for our facilities to be more inclusive and to provide a greater range of sporting opportunities for disabled people.

Find out more:


1 Moving Communities, Sport England, April 2022.