A new workforce for a more active and healthy Britain

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A new workforce for a more active and healthy Britain

Developing and training our community sports and physical activity workforce

Are we focusing on the right areas, skills and methods
or should we be more innovative or flexible?

In partnership with  

A one-day conference, 17th February 2022,
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry

Presentations from

The changing times in community sport…how should our skills agencies, training providers,

sports bodies, FE/HE and others, adapt?

There seem to be many discussions within community sport and physical activity as to how we should develop and deliver workforce training across the sector in the ‘new normal’ world, particularly when it comes to dealing with the many volunteers within the sector.

The questions are also whether too much of our accredited training is too complex and rigid in its structure and if that makes it difficult to adapt content and format to a changing world?

At the same time, how do we ensure that our training and workforce development is recognised and trusted across and beyond the sector?

It has been suggested that we should an element of accredited training covering topics such as life-saving and child protection where specific skills and understanding are key. These standards can include academic quality, ethics, integrity, learning experience, and student experience, among others.

But around areas such as leadership, customer service and communication there could be scope for a more open approach as one can not always put these aspects into boxes. Obviously, the need for delivering quality training in this field is equally as important but could perhaps be measured more around user and participant response.

We are also experiencing interest from some sports bodies to swift attention in sports volunteer workforce development from a rigid, technical focus to a stronger focus on developing a more welcoming and holistic approach to engage and activate inactive people.

Increasing diversity and inclusivity amongst the sporting workforce

Despite continued efforts, and various initiatives, community sport and physical activity in most places has not managed to significantly increase participation among people with different attributes and backgrounds (i.e. race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion) in a meaningful way.

Also, we continue to see those groups lag behind their white counterparts in terms of being physically active and living long and healthy lives.

So, we must develop training programmes that bring in people from more diverse backgrounds if we are to reach many inactive people. 

This conference will bringing everybody together

We will bring everybody together involved with developing and delivering training and workforce development across community sport and physical activity to discuss, learn, exchange, network and improve and innovate – this conference will do exactly that.

The conference will bring together representatives from the Sports councils in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland accredited and non-accredited training providers, accreditation agencies, national governing bodies of sports, universities, colleges, employers.

Programme and presenters include

Chris Johnson, Chair, North of England Activities and Training

Adapting and changing our approach to make it easier for people from all areas of society to enter and move through our sector
Spencer Moore. Director of Strategy at CIMSPA
Steve Mitchell,

Engagement, Environment & Relationship: Understanding People
Justyn Price, Head of Coach Development & Insight, The FA

Creating an agile, flexible, and resilient workforce
Eleanor Ower, People Development Lead, Sport Wales

Developing the workforce who can engage ethnic minorities in the outdoors
Mohammed Dhalech, Outdoor diversity campaigner

Empower unique individuals and professionalise the industry workforce.
Stacey Doherty, Director, Transcend

How to identify and support the workforce required to get people active
Ian Carey, Director, Joanne Dodd, Partnership Officer, Active Black Country

How to develop the workforce required to manage and lead a flagship programme ‘Active Row’ reaching over 3,000 young people
Matt Rostron, CEO, Emily Coe, Director of Programmes, London Youth Rowing

To book your place

click here 

#MoreThanAClub – Support Programme

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#MoreThanAClub – Develop community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities

A comprehensive training and support programme for community sports clubs and other providers
  • with a guide on #MoreThanAClub – Develop community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities with advice, ideas and case studies
  • three webinars with case studies from community sports clubs that have benefitted from adapting a welcoming and inclusive approach
  • a support network for community sports organisations to help them to develop #MoreThanAClub
  • one-to-one mentoring support from Svend Elkjaer, founder and principal of the Sports Marketing Network

Most of our community sports clubs and other providers could benefit greatly from the added benefits of being #MoreThanAClub

At a time when there is an increased focus on how we can create a more coherent society, there seems to be considerable scope for sports clubs to play a pivotal role in our communities. At the same time, many of our clubs and other providers could benefit greatly from the added benefits of engaging with new audiences in terms of new users, volunteers, sponsors and community partners.

The challenge is that too many sports clubs suffer from ‘sporting myopia’ where the main success criteria are being associated with sport only: number of users or members, the performance of the first team or the elite athletes and everything else has to support that. So what happens out there in the community and the ‘real world’ is often regarded as a bit of an irrelevance, even a nuisance, sometimes.

But we have also seen many examples where sports clubs have benefitted in terms of membership and income from playing a stronger role in their communities. And with a stronger focus on sport’s ability to change people’s lives, there is an even stronger scope for sports clubs to play a bigger role in their communities and the lives of people around them and become #MoreThanAClub.

Clubs that are #MoreThanAClub sits in the middle of their community and they can play a vital role for its community. This can help the club attract more skilled and passionate volunteers as a wider range of people will want to be involved with the club and they also generate more income as more people come to their matches, events and sponsor the club – it really is that simple.

The slides below highlight how that the more your club is part of its community

  • the more likely you are to attract volunteers from the wide community (and not just parents and formers players)
  • the more likely you are to generate income as more people care about your club and attend your events, and so on

Here are some of the benefits your club could gain from being a community hub:

  • You can reach out to and engage with potential users, members, supporters and partners
  • You can develop new income streams through events, commissioning and partnerships/sponsorships
  • By being more relevant, you can attract more members and volunteers
  • You can become ‘a better club’
  • It will help you generate support from within your community which may prove useful ‘when times are tough’ and you need their support

Why your club should be more than #MoreThanAClub and become a hub for your community 

Great sports clubs work for and with their communities, and as a consequence, both parties benefit. They are in reality Hubs for their Communities. They link up their assets, skills and relationships with people, groups and institutions in their communities.

The benefits of this approach can be considerable in terms of growing membership and volunteer base, increasing income and helping to ensure that the club and the community is sustainable in the long term.

One of the key aspects of every successful sports club I have been in contact with is that they see themselves as a key part of their community and see themselves being in a two-way relationship where both parties benefit.

At the same time, it saddens me to see so many of our clubs and often even bigger ones, who ignore their communities for ages and live in their own, isolated world.  But then when they fall on hard times, they suddenly demand support and money from that community they profess to serve, but in reality, they have ignored.

You must share values with the rest of your community 

The shared value test: Ask your club and your current/potential community partners What can we do for you? What can you do for us? What can we do together?

So what is Shared Value and how could it work for your sports club? Shared Value for sports clubs and other activity providers can be defined as a new kind of partnership, in which both the club and the community contribute directly to the strengthening and development of each other

Sharing value is not about sharing the value that already exists – it’s about expanding the current pool of value and creating synergy. This then benefits everyone as 2 + 2 becomes 5.

Take your club to your communities – demonstrations in shopping centres, parks and housing estates. Invite people to ‘have a go’ sessions. Go where people are, engage with them and then welcome them, when they come to your club.

The first-ever comprehensive programme helping to develop
#MoreThanAClub – community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities

A comprehensive training and support programme for community sports clubs and other providers
  • You will receive a 36-page guide on becoming #MoreThanAClub – Develop community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities with advice, ideas and case studies
  • You will be invited to three webinars with case studies from community sports clubs that have benefitted from adapting a welcoming and inclusive approach
  • The one-hour webinars will be held at 7 pm on
      Thursday 20th January 2022
Thursday 10th February 2022
Thursday 24th February 2022
  • You will be invited to join a support network for community sports organisations to help them to develop #MoreThanAClub
  • You will receive one-to-one mentoring support from Svend Elkjaer, founder and principal of the Sports Marketing Network

This whole package is available at just £58.50 with £ 12.00 Early Bird discounts (£46.50) for bookings made before 15th December 2021.

Group discounts are available for governing bodies, sports councils and others.

Book your #MoreThanAClub – Develop community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities Support programme here

Announcing The GreenSport Network

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The GreenSport Network

driving sustainability across community sport and physical activity

Bringing together community sports bodies, clubs, organisers, and from across the world, exchanging practical ideas and experiences on how to reduce the carbon footprint from community sport.


Small steps can make a big difference

Three launch webinars 1st, 8th and 15th December, all at 10 am GMT

 To book your places go here

The dream scenario…getting more people active while reducing CO2 emissions

At present, there is a global need to reduce climate gas emissions, and at the same time there is a global call for increased physical activity – so how do we square that circle and develop community sports facilities and events that are both welcoming and sustainable?

 We are also experiencing that many people now, and not just Generation Zers, expect the places where they go such as clubs, centres and events demonstrate sustainable behaviour if they want them to come back. So, we would like to suggest that by driving sustainability across community sport and physical activity we can become relevant to and attract more, new, participants.

 Get going on the sustainability journey, step by step

 There is also scope for demystifying the whole concept, model and journey on how to get going on the sustainability journey, step by step. So, information-sharing and story-telling are indeed important factors in motivating and helping community sports providers to getting started on their ‘green’ journey.

 We have seen some great examples where smaller clubs have ‘seen the light’ and then gradually start selling local organic products, replace lights with LED lighting, switch over to a renewable energy supplier, switch mechanical equipment over to electric, vegan food options to meat-free Mondays, installing bike parks and give discounts to anyone who arrives by bike, public transport or electric car.

 The list goes on and on, and The GreenSport Network will share all those ideas and experiences from community sport from across the world.

 The GreenSport Network will bring together bodies, clubs, organisers, sports and community facilities from across the world and exchange ideas and experiences on how to deliver climate change within community sport, in all sorts of ways.

 We will bring together practitioners, academics, industry experts, facilities managers from across the world together to exchange ideas, case studies and experiences.

 We will be running webinars, workshops, conferences and study tours, and, over time, become the information hub and go-to source for community sports providers who are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint.

 The GreenSport Network will collect and disseminate examples of best practice from community sports providers at all stages of their development in becoming environmentally sustainable We will help train potential green sports providers how to develop and run sustainable activities.

 Green sport needs champions and The GreenSport Network will highlight the great work done by so many people within the sector and ensure that they will act as role models and beacons.

Three launch webinars 1st, 8th and 15th December, all at 10 am

1st December 10 am GMT

Getting started – An introduction to how community sport can become more environmentally sustainable

This 45-minute webinar will provide you with a quick background as to how we can link physical activity promotion and climate action.  We will then give you some ideas and tips on how any community sports provider can reduce their climate change impact. We will give you examples from non-league football club Shoreham FC who are focusing on the main contributors to climate change energy, transport and food/catering. The first steps include a complete refit of all their lighting with low energy LEDs, not using single plastic and introducing vegan food, amongst others.

Hanwell FC, whose first team play in the Isthmian League – South Central Division (level 8 of the English football pyramid) have just launched Green Geordies, with a commitment to become a net zero carbon football club by 2030.  They have already invested in a climate resilient pitch and installed automated LED lighting among other upgrades.

 Shoreham FC’s bar menu feature vegan options

We will also cover how Castle Climbing Centre in London are committed to preserving their rock faces and the planet, promoting biodiversity and sustainable practices and addressing social inequalities. Whether this is through supporting organisations such as the Dorset Bolt Fund, striving towards carbon neutral operations, investing in a permaculture garden and vegetarian café or partnering with ethical, sustainable suppliers.

We will talk about how Pentyrch Rugby Football Club has been using solar panels throughout the pandemic thanks to funding from the National Lottery and how they are

One of the pioneers of sustainability in sport, Forest Green Rovers have experienced an increase in sponsorship revenue as companies and brands who share their values are looking for a partner – that could work for you too”

And we will also give you examples of how event organisers are working with participants to reduce any waste being dropped and/left after the races and runs.

8th December 10 am GMT

Experiences from outside community sport and physical – that we can learn from others

At this webinar we will look at how sectors such as tourism, hospitality and arts and culture are going green and reducing their climate impact – there are many great initiatives that community sport and physical activity providers can learn from.

You will also hear from Jo Little, Business Development Manager at Planet Mark

Planet Mark certification is a recognised symbol of sustainability progress. It demonstrates a business’ commitment to measuring and reducing their carbon emissions, ultimately contributing to their environmental, social and governance.

Jo will talk about how for many brands in the sports and leisure industry there is a direct link with the natural world. As our climate changes, our relationship with sport and leisure as we understand it could be compromised. Many sports and leisure brands have realised they can be part of the solution, creating business with a focus on climate to promote healthy and future-ready experiences for their customers.

15th December 10 am GMT

How to get going internally with reducing your climate change impact – setting up n a powerful group for change

We will talk about how to take the first steps on your green journey and how to get people on board and buy into the project 

We will then be hearing from Hannah Amor, Plastics and sustainability project officer at Environment Agency. She will be talking about how to prevent plastic pollution in sport, recycling,

The Environment Agency’s Plastics and Sustainability team will be discussing how sports clubs, venues and events can reduce the amount of avoidable single-use plastic they use. Bringing participants, fans, and members along on the journey. By reducing avoidable plastic sport can play its part in tackling the climate emergency and protecting the planet for future generations. 

Mark Curtin, CEO The Lord’s Taverners, the famous cricket charity, will talk about how they are shipping recycled cricket kit to a variety of places including Nigeria, Greece, the Lebanon and Moldova and are currently in the process of fulfilling 6 more cricket and 2 football applications.