Annals of Leisure Research, 21(2) pp 178-198

Methods whereby access to facilities can be captured in order to support national policies geared towards promoting sports participation and help plan the provision of local facilities are urgently needed. Objective measures derived from the use of Geographical Information Systems can be used to gain an understanding of spatial variations in the location and quality of sporting infrastructure.

The aim of this study is to draw on a recreational database for Wales to demonstrate the benefits of ‘enhanced two-step floating catchment area’ techniques for gaining a wider understanding of variations in potential demand for sport facilities in the light of available supply. A practical demonstration showing how such tools can be used to examine variations in provision in relation to potential demand arising from targeted demographic groups is illustrated using the case study of spatial access to lawn bowling greens, an increasingly popular leisure pursuit in Wales.