Are you ‘just sport’ or are you #MoreThanSport?

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Are you ‘just sport’ or are you #MoreThanSport?

That distinction determines your Scope, Partners, Income and Impact –
in other words: Grow your SPI²

Sadly, we still come across (too) many sports bodies, clubs and coaches who only see the world through the lens of ‘sport’, ‘winning’ and ‘performance’.  They think that the whole world should support and play the real, traditional versions of their sport that they have been practising and training for ages.

They only see their players as ‘sports’ people and have little interest in the rest of their lives. The notion that sport should play a wider role in our communities and in people’s lives is an anathema to them.  And yet they are the first to call for more funding and support for their sport and they are convinced that if only the BBC showed their sport day in and day out everybody would be really excited and rush down to their clubs.  Forgetting that the environment they provide to newcomers is often rather unwelcoming, especially to the less talented and able.

The good news is that we are experiencing an increasing number of bodies and clubs and other providers of sport who are benefetting considerably from adapting a broader outlook and deliver more than sport.

So, how they do that? 
What is the process like?

Firstly, broaden you must broaden your scope and get everybody behind that you are a place for everybody. 
Yes, you will have people within your board who don’t like change. 
But as the quote below states

Many traditional sports bodies and their clubs are suffering and are often closing down because they are too narrow in their scope. In our experience, you need a mix of new people with fresh ideas and enthusiasm, combined with some of the excisting group, especially those who support change.  (Note, based on many case-studies: Get rid of the naysayers. You will never be able to change them!)

You can now become a hub for your community and become relevant to more people, both players, parents and siblings.

 

Of course, the process of broadening your scope can be difficult and hard work, but we have seen it happen at many places and we have had the pleasure of working with a number of bodies and clubs helping them on the way.
 
You can now start looking at who you can partner with.  When you are ‘just sport’ you are not really relevant to many external partners, but with your new scope you can gradually develop relations with an increasing number of non-sportsc partners around you, as you can see on the Your Club diagram:

A couple of examples from the real world

Llandrindod Wells FC link up with Tesco through their community engagement
 
Llandrindod Wells FC are based in this town in Mid Wales with a population of 5,309. 
The football club are one of the clubs involved with the FAW Trust’s More than a club support and mentoring programme. 

Over the last six months, they have organised a Dog Walk, a walk to the top of local Pen-y-Fan mountain  (881 metres) and a great day out at the club for 200 young carers. 

Through all that good work they got in contact with Jayne Griffiths, Community Champion at the local Tesco Extra (every one of the 253 Tesco Extras in the UK employ a Community Champion).The two are now collaborating with all sorts of events, include a Diabetes Awareness Day and collection of sports equipment for Africa and Jayne is now helping the club with organising the Club Awards.

Jayne presented at the recent More than a club conference for the FAW Trust’s where she encouraged all the clubs to play a wider role in their community.

As Jayne said: “I  didn’t know anything about football but it’s all about being together, out there and making a difference. Football clubs need to be a part of their community.”

Cricket Scotland link up with a university, Pakistani community, Glasgow City Councillors and cricket for visually impaired people
 
Over the last few years, Cricket Scotland has evolved into one of our most innovative and engaging sports governing bodies.
An outcome of that change was the establishment of a partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University (strapline: “University for Common Good”) and Lord Taverner’s to employ Arran Ashraf as Community Engagement Officer in Glasgow.

Part of his role is to help transform some of Glasgow’s most marginalised communities and bring cricket to black and minority ethnic, migrant and refugee communities in Glasgow and build social cohesion and support integration. 

Part of his role is to help transform some of Glasgow’s most marginalised communities and bring cricket to black and minority ethnic, migrant and refugee communities in Glasgow and build social cohesion and support integration. 
 
Ammar has already set up a Tapeball cricket league and festival and organised a visually impaired cricket match played between a team of Glasgow City Councillors and people with sight loss.
The specially arranged indoor match pitched eight city councillors – wearing blindfolds or ‘sim-specs’ that simulate different sight loss conditions – against a team of members, volunteers and staff from sight loss charity RNIB Scotland. Visually impaired cricket, in fact, is played internationally and there is an International Blind Cricket Team.
It is also worth noting that Cricket Scotland receives awards from the International Cricket Council for their development work and innovation, on a regular basis.

By being vibrant, visible and viable Valley Gymnastics Academy has over seven years grown from 100 to 3,000 members and they now turn over £800,000. Only 100 members are competitive gymnasts, the rest are there for the fun and the exercise. 

By taking these steps you now, almost automatically, grow your impact on your community and on people’s lives.

It really is that simple. But, you have to be willing and able to take those first steps

 

You can learn more about the #MoreThanSport Academy click here

If you want to learn more about to become more inclusive and diverse and engage with inactive people, do get in touch

Innovation is alive and kicking in community sport – are you?

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Innovation is alive and kicking in community sport – are you?

Ever since some rugby players in the USA more 100 years ago introduced the forward pass and thus set the foundation for what is now American Football have we seen regular innovations in sport and physical activity.

Some don’t really last, but most are ignored, or even ridiculed, by people within ‘The System’

Often these developments and innovations are not developed by people at the top, but by some ‘silly’ people out there in the communities who then take their initial wacky and make it come to life.

So, here are some examples I’ve come across. I am sure there are many others, and if you have an example, please let me know. Also, when you look at these cases, I want you to consider how you can introduce new thinking where you are…as they say ‘innovate of die’.

Mermaid swimming (or Mermaiding) is making a splash

Over the last few years, swimming wearing a mermaid tail has become indreasingly popular and there indeed a number of males doing it, called Mermen.

You have to be a relatively skilled swimmer to be allowed to put on the tail, which, apparently gives you feeling of freedom in the water
Last September saw the first Merlympics being held in Dorset
Some public pools do not allow swimming with a mermaid tail is due to safety regulations, whereas others positively encourage it and offer Mermaid Experiences and Parties. One of those is community-owned Jesmond Pool

Being a mermaid is apparently a cross between free diving and synchronised swimming – with your feet strapped together

Hobbyhorsing: what girls everywhere can learn from the Finnish craze

In Finland, the beginnings of the modern popularity of hobbyhorsing among young girls stands as something of a mystery, though it is known that for some while the community flourished secretly online. Today, there are not just practitioners but coaches, competitions, judges.

Enthusiasts assign their horses names, breeds and genders, and along the usual displays of cantering, trotting and galloping, meetings will cover everything from in-depth discussions of grooming, bloodlines, temperament, and, on at least one occasion, a two-part dressage routine choreographed to a song by the rapper Nelly.

The 8th Finnish National Championships were held in June with 400 participants and 2500 spectators and you can watch a brief video here

If this seems an unlikely pursuit for pubescent girls in an age of Snapchat and Fortnite, it’s worth considering that hobbyhorsing is on the rise, having already spread to Sweden, Russia and the Netherlands.

Harry Potter inspires new fast-growing sport, Quidditch

The sport inspired by Harry Potter’s wizarding game continues to evolve worldwide with 40,000 players in 25 countries
Twenty-five years ago the word quidditch barely existed in the English language. Today, not only is this term instantly-recognisable to legions of Harry Potter fans as the primary sport in J K Rowling’s wizarding world, but it has also evolved into a real-life, international sporting activity.

Quidditch started out in the early 2000s as a sporting activity for American Potter-aficionados eager to recreate the magical broomstick competitions from their childhood tales. However, over the years the sport, which consists of athletes running around with a broom between their legs, has become a popular game among students and Potter enthusiasts alike.

The game as a mix of handball, rugby and dodge ball, and has been stated that it’s “very community orientated” and “extremely inclusive”. One of the primary rules states that a team – consisting of 21 players but with only seven allowed on the pitch at any one time – can only have four people of one gender playing during the match. The rules are very complicated, but you can learn more here

There is now a Premier League in the UK, which has just added a number of European teams and their finals weekend takes place at the 20,000 seater AJ Bell Stadium in Salford 24th- 25th August

Canicross sees human and dog leashed together for training runs and racing

Canicross is an an activity described simply as “running off-road with your dog”, although in reality there are many differences from just grabbing a lead and starting to jog. The most important distinction is that in canicross your dog runs in front and effectively pulls you along. This is possible because both of you wear a harness – your dog around its shoulders, you around your waist – and you’re attached together by a stretchy bungee cord. Also, you run on paths in greenspaces which places less pressure on the dogs’ paws.

The pace of Canicross doesn’t need to be fast and people of all ages and fitness levels can participate

So, this is all simple stuff. You decide whether you want to innovate and move forward or stay as you are and slide downwards.

Need a hand? Just get in touch

#MoreThanSport Academy Introductory Workshop Series

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A series of workshops introducing the core values of the #MoreThanSport Academy and providing practical examples of how to create positive environments that lead to positive experiences. Application is key, so all of our workshops are jargon free and packed with case studies and simple tools to help you put learning into practice.

House of Sport, 190 Great Dover St, London SE1 4YB

 

Are you engaging new audiences?

 

Welcoming environments for sport & physical activity

 

Friday 18th October 2019

9.30 am – 12.30 pm

 

 

Do you want to grow your great idea?

 

How to run your own sports enterprise

 

Friday 15th November 2019

9.30 am – 12.30 pm

 

 

Are you looking to achieve a wider purpose?

Partnering with the local community to achieve social outcomes

 

Friday 6th December 2019

9.30 am – 12.30 pm

 

Innovation is alive and kicking in community sport – are you?

Hits: 22

Innovation is alive and kicking in community sport – are you?

Ever since some rugby players in the USA more 100 years ago introduced the forward pass and thus set the foundation for what is now American Football have we seen regular innovations in sport and physical activity.

Some don’t really last, but most are ignored, or even ridiculed, by people within ‘The System’

Often these developments and innovations are not developed by people at the top, but by some ‘silly’ people out there in the communities who then take their initial wacky and make it come to life.

So, here are some examples I’ve come across. I am sure there are many others, and if you have an example, please let me know. Also, when you look at these cases, I want you to consider how you can introduce new thinking where you are…as they say ‘innovate of die’.

Mermaid swimming (or Mermaiding) is making a splash

Over the last few years, swimming wearing a mermaid tail has become indreasingly popular and there indeed a number of males doing it, called Mermen.

You have to be a relatively skilled swimmer to be allowed to put on the tail, which, apparently gives you feeling of freedom in the water
Last September saw the first Merlympics being held in Dorset
Some public pools do not allow swimming with a mermaid tail is due to safety regulations, whereas others positively encourage it and offer Mermaid Experiences and Parties. One of those is community-owned Jesmond Pool

Being a mermaid is apparently a cross between free diving and synchronised swimming – with your feet strapped together

Hobbyhorsing: what girls everywhere can learn from the Finnish craze

In Finland, the beginnings of the modern popularity of hobbyhorsing among young girls stands as something of a mystery, though it is known that for some while the community flourished secretly online. Today, there are not just practitioners but coaches, competitions, judges.

Enthusiasts assign their horses names, breeds and genders, and along the usual displays of cantering, trotting and galloping, meetings will cover everything from in-depth discussions of grooming, bloodlines, temperament, and, on at least one occasion, a two-part dressage routine choreographed to a song by the rapper Nelly.

The 8th Finnish National Championships were held in June with 400 participants and 2500 spectators and you can watch a brief video here

If this seems an unlikely pursuit for pubescent girls in an age of Snapchat and Fortnite, it’s worth considering that hobbyhorsing is on the rise, having already spread to Sweden, Russia and the Netherlands.

Harry Potter inspires new fast-growing sport, Quidditch

The sport inspired by Harry Potter’s wizarding game continues to evolve worldwide with 40,000 players in 25 countries
Twenty-five years ago the word quidditch barely existed in the English language. Today, not only is this term instantly-recognisable to legions of Harry Potter fans as the primary sport in J K Rowling’s wizarding world, but it has also evolved into a real-life, international sporting activity.
Quidditch started out in the early 2000s as a sporting activity for American Potter-aficionados eager to recreate the magical broomstick competitions from their childhood tales. However, over the years the sport, which consists of athletes running around with a broom between their legs, has become a popular game among students and Potter enthusiasts alike.

The game as a mix of handball, rugby and dodge ball, and has been stated that it’s “very community orientated” and “extremely inclusive”. One of the primary rules states that a team – consisting of 21 players but with only seven allowed on the pitch at any one time – can only have four people of one gender playing during the match. The rules are very complicated, but you can learn more here

There is now a Premier League in the UK, which has just added a number of European teams and their finals weekend takes place at the 20,000 seater AJ Bell Stadium in Salford 24th- 25th August.

Canicross sees human and dog leashed together for training runs and racing

Canicross is an an activity described simply as “running off-road with your dog”, although in reality there are many differences from just grabbing a lead and starting to jog. The most important distinction is that in canicross your dog runs in front and effectively pulls you along. This is possible because both of you wear a harness – your dog around its shoulders, you around your waist – and you’re attached together by a stretchy bungee cord. Also, you run on paths in greenspaces which places less pressure on the dogs’ paws.

The pace of Canicross doesn’t need to be fast and people of all ages and fitness levels can participate

So, this is all simple stuff. You decide whether you want to innovate and move forward or stay as you are and slide downwards.

Need a hand? Just get in touch.

What can traditional sports learn from esports?

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What can traditional sports learn from esports?

The last couple of weekends have seen two massive esports events taking place. The inaugural Fortnite World Cup event at Flushing Meadows Tennis Centre in New York and the FIFA esports finals at O2 in London.

Millions followed the events across the world and British 15-year-old Jaden Ashman from Hornchurch, London won almost £1m for coming second in the Fortnite duos event.
Fortnite is now played by 250 million players and a vast roster of hugely influential streamers attracting massive audiences with their Fortnite broadcasts.

A number of major football clubs, such as PSG Paris and Manchester City now run their own FIFA esports teams, so some people in traditional sports organisations now understand the potential in esports. So has an increasing number of major brands who are becoming sponsors of these events, including Mercedes!

Thousands attended the FIFA esports finals at O2 in London

The Flushing Meadows Tennis Centre hosted the inaugural Fortnite World Cup

…and it’s not on free-to-air telly

What is also interesting is that this whole phenomenon is that only recently has SKY begun to show the FIFA finals, so the whole movement has been developed via Skype, Twitch and various streaming channels

So, while we do agree that free-to-air broadcasting of major sports events, can have a positive effect on getting young people into sport, we are also suggesting that there are many other channels which can should be used to spread the word. Some of those channels probably don’t exist today, but soon a 15-year old will have launched one from their bedroom!

More than 380 million people across the world watched esports in 2018 and that number is expected to increase to 550 million in 2021. Whether those audiences are watching Fornite, League of Legends or Counter-Strike, the numbers hold interesting lessons for traditional sports, where viewing figures among younger people are declining.

YouTube and Netflix are now UK’s third and fourth most popular channels, Ofcom finds

The four most popular television channels in Britain now include YouTube and Netflix, an Ofcom report has found, as the streaming giants eclipse BBC Two and Channel 4 in a drastically changing media landscape.
British adults now watch an average of 34 minutes of YouTube and 18 minutes of Netflix a day, beaten only by BBC One at 48 minutes and ITV at 37.
A study of young adults, categorised as being aged 18 to 34, placed the two video services as the most-watched viewing platforms, with one hour and four minutes dedicated to YouTube and 40 to Netflix per day.
The findings were reported in Ofcom’s second annual “Media Nations” report, which tracks the viewing and listening habits of the UK.
Nearly half of homes now subscribe to TV streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or NOW TV, with average daily viewing rising by seven minutes last year to 26 minutes.

Here’s what to do:

Here are some suggestions that most of you could do if you are not already doing:

Accept that the times indeed are changing (they always have) and move with them

Set up project group of 14-17-year-olds from the club of both genders, if possible. Preferably someone who are not that brilliant at your sport and who perhaps who would rather be playing Fortnite or do street arts. Ask them to look at everything the club/centre does with a critical eye, from their viewpoint. From the experience provided by the coaches to the language on your social media.

When they make recommendations, ask upon them, even those you don’t really understand and/or accept. If they want to arrange a midnight festival combining your sport, music and graffiti – do it…and so on!

Consider points like these

• Are you coaches regarded as welcoming, friendly and relevant to the people the coach?
• Are your social media platforms the most appropriate for your young people (one 15-year female said to me “Facebook is old people”)?
• What is the first impression people get when they come to your place for a session? Warm, welcoming, dirty, clean, cliquey…?
• What do your lapsed players/members say about online and offline?
• What do your current players/members say about you online and offline?
• Do everybody have to play in a league or join competitions, week in, week out? Or can they go to the odd session and take part in one fun festival?
• Do you run informal drop-in sessions
• Do you listen, engage and act.

Here at Sports Marketing Network, we are quite good at helping people to ‘think wrong’. If you want to have a chat, give us a call on 01423 326 660.
Svend Elkjaer

MoreThanAHandballClub

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#MoreThanAHandballClub

 Thriving handball clubs a cross England

 

 

England Handball launch bespoke enterprise mentoring and support programme for handball clubs in England

Sports Marketing Network to help English handball clubs to become vibrant, visible and viable

We have many great handball clubs in England and a great deal of those are keen to develop further into more sustainable community-based organisations
Handball in England is growing. Enterprising handball clubs can benefit from this and become real community handball enterprises and be #MoreThanAHandballClub 

Examples from other sports demonstrate that when clubs play a bigger role in their communities, and in people’s lives, they:

• attract more players and volunteers
• generate more income
• generally, have a much better future.

However, England Handball appreciates that for many aspiring clubs this development, exciting as it is, requires inspiration and support.
This is why we are announcing our new support and mentoring programme.
However, England Handball also appreciates that for many aspiring clubs this development, exciting as it is, requires inspiration and support.
This is why the governing body for handball in England, England Handball are announcing our new support and mentoring programme where handball clubs from across England are invited to benefit from participating in a 12-month programme where they can develop the skills and programmes which can help transform their clubs.

Stacey Andrews, National Partnerships Manager at England Handball

Stacey Andrews, said:

“We are delighted to have teamed up with Svend Elkjaer of Sports Marketing Network who will be delivering the support and mentoring programme. 

Following the positive response to his presentation at our 2018 club conference, England Handball has teamed up with Svend Elkjaer of Sports Marketing Network. Svend will be delivering the programme along with the England Handball partnerships team.
Svend has worked with community sports clubs across most sports across the UK and has a proven way of helping clubs to grow and become vibrant, visible and viable.

All handball clubs in England will be invited to apply to become involved with this 12-month programme, developing the skills and programmes to help transform, their clubs”, Stacey said.

She continued, “If selected, Svend will visit your club and run a workshop with as many people from the club as possible and help you identify your goals, opportunities and challenges. He will give you ideas and support on how to attract more players and volunteers, generate more income and become a bigger part of your community.

He will then work with you for 12 months, providing motivation and inspiration, and helping you overcome those unavoidable hurdles. Yes, there are always challenges, but most can be overcome”, ends Stacey Andrews.

This opportunity is only open to a small number of clubs. The selection process will be competitive. The clubs will be selected based on their desire and willingness to change and grow, and not on size or league position.

To apply to become part of a truly inspirational programme for handball clubs in England, complete and return the Application Form.

You are also welcome to send a video as your application, or to support it.

Just write why you want your club to be involved and about:

• your goals
• your challenges,
• your opportunities
• your skills
• your culture
• your capacity and capability
• what support are you looking for

To learn more about this programme contact Stacey Andrews on or Svend Elkjaer on or go to England Handball’s website