Trends & Features

Sport participation increases 1000%

Find a Player data from first week of Return To Play unveils significant increase in people playing sport, compared to 2019

Futsal shows highest levels of growth

Rise in sport being played in public areas as opposed to booked facilities

There has been over a 1000% increase in people partaking in sports compared to pre-pandemic, following last week’s ‘Return To Play’.

The UK leader for connecting and organising grassroots sports, Find a Player, has unveiled data that reveals an increase of 1183% users requesting to partake in sporting events, compared to the same (pre-covid) week in 2019.

Futsal, Beach Volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee ranked amongst the fastest growing sports over the last 12 months, with some seeing as much as an 85% increase in interest across the Find a Player userbase.

Find a Player is a multi-platform app designed to take the pain out of organising and finding players for sports, games & events. The app provides users with their own map-based sports network, showing them everything going on around them and connecting users with similar sporting interests.

Following 12-months of lockdown and isolation, the nation has never been more disconnected. Over the initial seven-day period since the Government lifted restrictions on outdoor sport, Find a Player has found that the UK’s desire to reconnect and play sport has rocketed.

Find a Player’s CEO, Jim Law said: “What we have seen is an unprecedented increase in people wanting to connect to play sports. The pandemic has cut so many people off from society, so now that the doors are slowly being opened, people are excited and organising activity like never before. I expect there’ll be a few tired legs and trips to the physio next week!’

“Our market research told us that around 50% of people would like to do more sport or physical activity and 85% of organisers regularly struggle with game administration and logistics – particularly around recruiting players. Therefore, with Find a Player we’ve been able to connect an unprecedented number of people in the last 10-days – for us it’s all about helping people get off the couch and find their own community within sports.

“The fact we are seeing more people playing sports than before Coronavirus struck suggests that the pandemic has made people recognise the power of sport, lighting a desire to be active and ultimately have fun through sport.”

With 1000s of different games and events running on their platform every week, Find a Player have also highlighted an increase in niche sporting activities such as Futsal, Beach Volleyball, Gaelic Football, Rounders and Paddle Tennis.

Gayle Mann, COO at Find a Player added: “What we are seeing here is an increase in sports and activities that are more accessible in the current climate. Following the opening of outdoor sport facilities, there will have been a significant demand for booking courts and pitches, therefore people are organising activities in public areas and open ground. A trend that we predict will continue over the coming months as restrictions continue to ease.

“The impact of COVID-19, and the ‘new normal’ have altered perceptions of sport, with lots of people suddenly realising how crucial the socialisation, physical activity and team aspects of many sports are for supporting both mental and physical wellbeing. Sport is a massive connecter and we need to make it as easy as ordering a takeaway or booking a cab.”

Find a Player has also noted that they saw an 82% increase in new users last week, with an increase in players highlighting interests in further niche sports, including Ultimate Frisbee, Table Tennis and Dodgeball.

For more information about Find a Player, visit

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