Our Sport and Physical Activity team work on supporting and developing a range of sports, physical activities and facilities in the city; offering a range of programmes, projects and events to help Oxford's residents become more active and live happier, healthier lives. 

Our work covers facility development, club development, school sport, forest schools, community events and participation programmes.

Leisure Centres

We work with Fusion Lifestyle (a not-for-profit leisure trust) to improve and develop our leisure centres and swimming pools. We have signed a 10-year management contract with Fusion which will deliver improvements to the centres and reduce the overall cost of the service, resulting in better value for money for the people of Oxford. For more information on Oxford's leisure centres and swimming pools, please visit our Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools page.


The team work hard with partners such as; the Active Oxfordshire, Sport England, national governing bodies of sports, schools, clubs, charities and the voluntary and community sector to ensure sport and physical activity is accessible to everyone.


Quest Assessment

The work of the team has been recognised by the Quest accreditation, which is a continuous improvement tool and quality scheme for Sports Development in the UK. The team first achieved Quest in 2012 and have continued to improve, now with an 'Outstanding' Quest Stretch for Active Communities score; the highest score possible. Amongst the five teams nationally to have attained this, Oxford City Council is the first district authority to reach this level.

The assessment, called Quest: Stretch, allows facilities, organisations and teams to better demonstrate their impact on local communities and delivery of local priority outcomes. The team were also checked on how they perform on various themes such as Working in the Community, Diversity and Inclusion and Getting the Inactive Active

The accolade was achieved through a huge team effort, where colleagues collaborated across the Council, demonstrating the work of the wider Active Communities team area through green space development, youth ambition, community centres, and leisure services as well as work within the Communities Team. All teams work with a number of local partners on these shared objectives and could not achieve the outcomes they have without this strong collaborative approach.

The assessment took place across two days and two months. Day one of the assessment was completed in November 2018 in which the team had to achieve a rating of ‘excellent’ in order to follow onto day two. That took place in January 2019 with the result formally approved and announced in March 2019.

The team was awarded the Highest Performing Active Communities Team for 2017 from Quest. The award, which recognises high quality customer service for teams that encourage participation in sport, physical activity and play, and work with communities, is given to the highest scoring team across the UK.

Association Public Service Excellence Award

The work of the team won the 2014 Association Public Service Excellence Award for the Best Service Team of the Year; Sport, Leisure and Cultural Service category and has also been short-listed finalists for the Children and Young People Now and National Lottery Awards.

Key documents

There are a number of strategies and reviews that have been developed to help guide the work of the Sport and Physical Activity team in Oxford and help achieve the wider corporate objectives of the Council. These documents can be found on our Policies and Plans page.

Active people, healthy places report (2017)

Read about the work of the team in the new Active People, Healthy Places publication, produced by the Local Government Association in partnership with Sporta and the Chief Cultural and Leisure Officer's Association. 

In the current economic climate, and in the face of national challenges such as high levels of obesity and inactivity and an ageing population, it is more important than ever that councils and their delivery partners collaborate to demonstrate strong evidence of impact, value for money and service excellence.

Active people, healthy places provides case studies of how councils (including Oxford City Council) and their delivery partners can overcome many of these challenges together.

Active Lives 

The latest Active Lives Survey (2017-2018) found that Oxford was one of the least inactive districts with inactivity down to 16.3%. Inactivity is defined as less than 30 minutes of activity per week. 

Contact the Sport and Physical Activity Team