Growing grassroots sport in Australia – for whom, by whom?

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Growing grassroots sport in Australia – for whom, by whom?

 New formats, places, people and partners for grassroots sports in Australia

2 free webinars

Friday  11th December 2020, 10 am AEDT

Friday 18th December 2020, 10 am AEDT

 

Across the world, people’s lives are changing faster every day. The explosive growth of social media, more people leading 24/7 lives, the decline of the traditional core family and a culture of more demanding consumers are just some of the trends that are having an impact on our lives.  And as a direct consequence, the way people view and participate in sport and physical activity.

In many countries, the traditional leisure facilities and community sports clubs are therefore facing considerable financial pressure, whilst workout-at-home brands like Peloton, Nautilus and NordicTrack are reporting massive increases in the number of subscribers. Cycling is becoming increasingly popular (In the UK there is a shortage of bikes) and Amazon and Google are joining Apple and many others in launching fitness apps and videos.

We are also seeing some people joining traditional sports clubs in more flexible ways.  In Denmark, they are seeing many families joining clubs but as part of a ‘motionsfællesskab’, or ‘exercise community’ which has proved particularly popular with females who won’t/can’t commit to regular classes. 

We are also experiencing a growing number of non-sports bodies, such as housing, patient associations and social enterprises delivering physical activity programmes to residents, patients and clients, respectively.

These two webinars will highlight different aspects of how you can adapt and change to this ‘new normal world’. Combining thoughts and tools from innovative community sports providers from across the world with case-studies from some of Australia’s most successful grassroots providers these three webinars will bring new thinking and ways to deliver grassroots sports right to your computer screen. At no cost!

In partnership with:

Friday 11th December 2020 10 am AEDT

Creating social innovation in grassroots sport in Australia, Svend Elkjaer, Founder, Sports Marketing Network. How people and groups are looking to develop and deliver innovative ways to engage with new groups through sport and develop more active and engaged people and a real impact in our communities.

Embracing the power of sport and recreation as a vehicle for inclusion, opportunity and belonging for all members of the community – including, recently arrived migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum. How clubs can shift their model to be inclusive of different groups, grow participation numbers and adapt to hanging community needs, Maia Tua-Davidson, Manager, Welcoming Sport at Welcoming Australia 

Friday 18th December10 am AEDT

Developing partnerships and collaboration in grassroots sports in Australia, Svend Elkjaer, Founder, Sports Marketing Network. How to pool a diverse variety of perspectives and ideas; this is what leads to innovation! How to collaborate with others including bodies and people from outside your normal network and sphere – creating shared value.

The work of a child is PLAY, exploring their own unique potential, being safe to fail, having a right to enjoy Sport for the sake of enjoying it, through GAME PLAY LEARN.  Joey Peters, Founder, Game Play Learn

Strong Webinar Line up

Maia Tua-Davidson, Manager, Welcoming Sport

            Joey Peters, Founder,                    Game Play Learn

          Svend Elkjaer, Founder, Sport Marketing Network

Sports Marketing Network, the organisers

Sports Marketing Network is a unique, UK-based organisation where physical activity and community sports providers can share best practice on how to become vibrant, visible and viable and develop innovative and enterprising enterprises.

We have been described as positive disruptors and we have worked with a wide range of sport, physical activity and community organisations across the world helping them to adapt, change and become better equipped to the changing landscape.

Social Innovation in community sport and physical sport

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Social Innovation in community sport and

physical activity

Great work is already happening and there are many opportunities ahead

 

 Webinar at Monday 9th November  2020 1pm GMT

 

Learn about best practice, how to forge great partnerships and develop really powerful projects

Social innovation is a concept which is gaining in traction the world over. It focuses on solutions (products, services, models, markets, processes etc.) that simultaneously meet a social need (more effectively than existing solutions) and lead to new or improved capabilities and relationships and better use of assets and resources. In other words, social innovations are both good for society and enhance society’s capacity to act.

 Within sport, whether using ice hockey in Northern Ireland to bring Catholic and Protestant communities together, Nagin Ravand, an Afghan football-mad refugee is getting other females from a multi-cultural community in Denmark to play football or Salaam Peace who runs a community engagement programme that uses sports and social education to bring people together from diverse backgrounds in East London, the innovation we are seeing in sport for change is extremely important for engaging and bringing communities together.

 We are also experiencing that the traditional sports bodies are missing out on various non-sports opportunities such as inclusion, public health, education and integration where community organisations, housing associations, patient organisations, etc. as these are being perceived as having a closer relationship with those inactive and disengaged people that the traditional sports bodies have struggled to engage with.

Salaam Peace uses sport to create social integration which resolves differences

So, what is social innovation in sport (SCIP)?

 SCIP comes in many forms and covers several areas but right now I would suggest that it is about  ‘people and groups who are looking to develop and deliver innovative ways to engage with new groups through sport and develop more active and engaged people and a real impact in our communities.

It is my experience that SCIP works best when it is ‘people out there’ who create activities and initiatives for people around them. People like themselves. Then it has credibility and its genuine.

 At the same time, we are also experiencing various organisations, such as GAME in Denmark and Our Parks and Sported in the UK who are delivering really great and innovative work in several locations adapting to local needs and conditions.  So, how do we ensure a wider reach and local engagement?

 We also need to become more and honest about works and doesn’t work. Like with any other innovation not everything goes to plan and there is always room for improvement and development. But, we have seen (too?) many cases where projects which didn’t really work were somehow forgotten/ignored, so the lessons weren’t learned. From personal experience, I can confirm that you probably learn more from failures than from successes.

Get local

 Every social innovation in community sport and physical activity begins its life as a hunch, living inside only a few minds. Then, through discussion, action and more discussion, often over long periods, it comes to be named, represented and codified.

 All good initiatives around engaging with disengaged people and groups are developed with, and often by, local people thus ensuring they can become sustainable and relevant.

 Good social innovations in sport are local

So, how do we support social innovators and social innovations within community sport and physical activity? Here are some suggestions that could/should be tested:

  • New sources of finance-focused specifically on innovation, including public and philanthropic investment in high-risk R&D, targeted at the areas of greatest need and greatest potential
  • ​More open markets for social solutions, including public funding and services directed more to outcomes and opened up to social enterprises and user groups as well as private business
  • New kinds of incubator for promising models, and ‘accelerators’ to advance innovation in particular areas such as, for example, chronic disease or the cultivation of non-cognitive skills;
  • New ways of empowering users to drive innovation themselves – with tools, incentives, recognition and access to funding for ideas that work
  • New institutions to help orchestrate more systemic change – linking small scale social enterprises and projects to big institutions, laws and regulations
  • New institutions focused on adapting new technologies for their social potential – such as artificial intelligence… as well as more extensive, rigorous, imaginative and historically aware research on how social innovation happens and how it can be helped

Social innovation in sport communities (SIC) could help to engage with change agents and support their work to grow their impact. However, due to the availability of digital platforms and other online tools, getting a new SIC started has become relatively easy and in principle requires no such resources.

Ballyhaunis GAA – Integration Day brings multi-cultural communities to the club 

Ballyhaunis GAA club has made the integration of immigrant children a priority, from Pakistanis and Syrians to eastern Europeans

Around the county in the North West of Ireland, some 5,000 people live in more than 30 of asylum centres. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work or to receive social welfare. Instead, they are given full-board accommodation and allowances of €19.10 per adult and €9.60 per child per week.

The roughly 250 (mostly African) residents packed into the Ballyhaunis centre today are separated from the local community by even wider chasms of language, culture and circumstance.

Ballyhaunis is Ireland’s most ethnically diverse town. The foreign-national population here was 42 per cent at the 2011 census. A majority of children in the local primary school, do not speak English at home. And the refugees housed in the Old Convent are only a small part of that ethnic mix.

“We don’t know each other really,” says Gerard McGarry, president of the local GAA club… Ballyhaunis GAA is a vibrant club, winning senior hurling and intermediate football county champions in 2014.

To help the refugees and asylum-seekers to integrate into the community (and to attract players to the club), they hosted an integration day at the local pitch at the end of May last year and based on the number of volunteers mobilised today, backing for the initiative was widespread.

The integration day was the brainchild of Darran Conlon, a hurling coach and police officer and former boxing champion. Conlon says his own two boys mix freely with children from different backgrounds at school. “They play together and go to birthday parties with the eastern European kids and the kids in direct provision. They have respect for each other’s cultures and I hope that continues.”

Hundreds of young people, and their parents turned up, played and watched hurling and the other Gaelic Sports which are completely unknown in their native countries.

A couple of hours after the crowds disperse here, organiser Darran Conlon tweets a photo of local black, white and Asian children holding up a large

“Give Respect, Get Respect” banner.

“Every day is Integration Day in Ballyhaunis GAA,” he writes. “Today we just celebrated it.”

Three examples of how one person can start a global social sports movement

Mixed ability sports was started by a young man with Cerebar Palsy who wanted to play and 11 years later it is growing across the world

Back in 2009 Anthony Brooke – a determined young man with Cerebral Palsy and a Learning Disability – wanted to play rugby union. He refused to be signposted to the disability-specific provision, in fact, he fiercely opposed ‘adapted’ rugby, demanding instead his right to play the mainstream full-contact version of the game. Assisted by his tutor Mark Goodwin, Anthony wrote to England Rugby and was introduced to Goodwin’s local rugby club committee.

At Bradford and Bingley Rugby Club, the Bumble Bees rugby team was founded, different only because it included players with and without disabilities playing together against local clubs in competitive, yet friendly games.

With an established home at the club and support from players at other community clubs, the Bumbles now have over 40 registered players with and without disabilities and play regular fixtures against able-bodied teams.

The Bumble Bees celebrate after a match

International Mixed Ability Sports are now taking mixed ability sports across the world helping to break downs barriers

Godgym…helps you doing good while you are getting fit

In September 2009 Ivo Gormley started a group of 11 people in London, which became Goodgym and they are now a UK-wide community of runners who get fit by doing good.   The word “community” is really important there. They are really a group of people who get together and try to achieve something positive, and their retention rate of their runners is quite staggering.

 Goodgym started by one man and is now a social movement

Parkrun, another world-wide movement started by one person

 Parkrun was founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt on 2nd October 2004 at Bushy Park in London

There are now over 5 million runners were registered worldwide. Parkrun is funded mainly through sponsorship, with local organisers only needing to raise money when they launch an event.

Events take place at a range of general locations including city parks, country parks, national parks, stately homes, castles, forests, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, canal towpaths, beaches, promenades, prisons, racecourses and nature reserves. 

 All Parkruns are 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) in length and are free to enter

Often social innovation has to deal what has been called the Nonsumer – that is why social innovation in sport is so important

The Nonsumer often has an intense dislike of taking part in any sport or physical activity. The last place they want to go to is the traditional sports club or leisure centre.

They often have underlying health problems and/or addictions, so any improvements in their level of physical activity can have a considerable positive impact.

The Nonsumer wants understanding and patient support.

And, finally: Here are SMN’s eight rules for social innovation in sport:

  • Social innovation is never a single event. It is a constant journey
  • Social innovation is combining ideas, learnings from all over the place and from all kinds of people
  • First, ask the right questions. The first step toward solving a difficult problem is asking the questions you need to define your approach.
  • There is no “right” size for social innovation. It is for startups and the big ones
  • Encourage open social innovation to expand your scope and capabilities
  • Disruptive social innovation requires new business models
  • In the digital age, we need to use platforms to access ecosystems of technology, talent and information
  • Collaboration is the way forward – find some partners and create some synergy

If you want to discuss how you can develop social innovation in sport, please get in touch. Svend Elkjaer +44 (0) 1423 326 660 svend@smnuk.com

It’s football, but not as we know it

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It’s football, but not as we know it

How three community football enterprises from Denmark are demonstrating the power of ‘bottom-up’ initiatives

Getting females from multi-ethnic communities to play football

Nagin Gavan is an Afghan refugee whose parents moved to Denmark in 2002, so she was brought up in a very ‘Danish-style’ culture. Relatively quickly she discovered that she was a good footballer and she never considered that it was unusual in Denmark to see girls playing football wearing a hijab.

When she was 12 the family moved to Gellerup an area in Aarhus, ´the which is a multicultural community where many residents come from countries where females do not normally play football.

So, Nagin started a girls section at a local football club and gradually people got used to seeing this group of females playing football in hijabs she learned how to engage with both the girls and the parents. When she realised that some of the parents were concerned that their daughters were missing out on their school work due to football, she started study-classes alongside the football sessions.

Since then Nagin has won several sports and community awards and is now an ambassador for getting females from multicultural backgrounds to play football.

In between, she is also a second-year student at Aarhus University.

With an adventurous heart and an open mind, she is a true role model, fighting the barriers for girls and women to be active in sports.

Nagin is in doubt about the importance of her efforts. She sees herself as part of a greater integration process, which in the end is about developing a broader framework for young people in the area. At school, you should be able to talk to everyone, regardless of where they live.

“It’s all about having the same opportunities, regardless of whether you live in a high-rise block or a leafy suburb”, she says.
Growing up in a multi-cultural community such as Gellerup does present some challenges, says Nagin. That is why this is the feeling of community at the football sessions. It’s about giving young people some opportunities where they can meet around some activities.

For Nagin, young people from deprived areas must get the same opportunities and experiences as other young people.
”It is important that we give Muhammed and Aamirah something to talk with Svend and Maria about. It is about giving the young people something they can have in common” she points out.

Celebrating European Week of Sport

 

 

On Sunday the 20th September Nagin brought together 100 local girls and women to introduce and encourage them to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle in connection with the European Week of Sport.

Here is how local TV covered that occasion

She also brought together 100 young men from across the city to a football tournament the same day which made lots of people smile and created new friendships.

Playing a strong role in the wider sporting landscape in the city

There are certainly some very ambitious to develop a whole sporting, leisure and community area in connection with also building a new Superleague football stadium and the city’s leadership are now recording videos with interviews from local community leaders. And, yes, Nagin is one of those people who has been interviewed. The interview is in Danish, but we wanted to share this confirmation of her influence and status. I do wonder whether how many places there would a similar person representing females from a multi-cultural community area would be asked to make a similar contribution.

Nagin wins another prize

The PlanChildren FoundationGirl awards every October in connection with the International Girls’ Day in October, a person, organisation or company that makes extraordinary efforts in the field of gender equality by contributing to changes in attitudes and by taking action to promote gender equality.  The 2020 Award has just been awarded to R

Playing a strong role in the wider sporting landscape in the city

Football reminiscence is a relatively new concept which is taking off in the UK, Spain and Sweden where patient associations, football clubs and care homes have joined forces to offer conversation groups focusing football memories for older people with dementia.

Jonas Holsbaek, an occupational therapist based in Copenhagen, Denmark has just finished a pilot project called FC Mindelund (‘FC Memory Lane’).

The concept for this particular programme is to have a mix of group therapy and physical activity – incorporating three parts: the first where items such as football shirts, photos, balls or ticket are used as a basis for a conversation around football memories. The second element is football training including penalty kicks, passing, dribbling or something else depending on the level of dementia and fitness. The third element is a kind of post-match chat over a beer or soft drink where they talk about the training and what they want to do at the next session.

Fælledgården, the care home where the football reminiscence pilot happened

It is important to point out that initially, the plan was to run the sessions at one of the best community football clubs, BK Skjold, men it proved easier to run it a local care home with 193 flats and a special block with 30 dwellings for people with dementia.  This tallies with the experiences from other similar projects of the importance of running the activities close to people’s homes in an environment they know.

Experiences with this and similar projects are that participation leads to better mental health, quality of life and level of activity and that the social aspects and having conversations around something they all have in common, football, is stimulating the participants.

The plan is now to develop a package and, literally, a toolbox, with equipment, manual and checklists and then offer that to other partners across Denmark.  Also, Jonas Holsbaek is planning in the future to split the participants into two groups depending on the level of their dementia.

Denmark’s most charitable football club

Playing football against famous clubs and at highly unusual places, while raising £££

In 2007 a bunch of 30+ guys started an Old Boys football team in Hinnerup, a suburb of Denmark’s second city, Aarhus.  The idea was to set up a team which could enjoy playing football and socialising in best old-boys style while also being ambitious, serious and innovative and create some ‘never-seen-before’ initiatives.

They quickly went on their impressive journey and in their first year had one exhibition match where they played against the cast of a cult TV programme based around some football nerds and which attracted a gate of 2700.

Simon Schiølin and Anders Lunde, the two main people behind the project both had a background working in management positions at sportswear brand, Hummel, so they had a good network of Danish footballers who had been playing in the big clubs across Europe.

So in 2008, they started their journey playing matches against old-boys teams from major clubs, starting with the Spanish side, RCD Espanyol. 

This then lead the team to give 500 DKK (£60) to each player with the brief to use that as seed money to raise some sponsorship funds which initially then grew to 250.000 DKK (£30.000)

They then developed a relationship with the Danish Red Cross and the club continued their innovative work and later that year could give Red Cross a cheque for 1 million DKK (120.000 DKK) which meant that 1500 poor kids in Uganda received a complete football kit and 400 footballs were also sent to the kids.

Since then they have played legends from elite clubs including Celtic FC, Ajax Amsterdam, Hamburg, Tottenham Hotspur, FC Barcelona, Arsenal FC

They have also played inside the gates of Danish maximum security prison, played some Danish expatriates in Dubai. They have played in the desert, Arctic and Shanghai.  They have also played at The Ottmar Hitzfeld Stadium. the highest stadium in Europe (at an altitude of 2,000 m above sea level) – they do get around.

They have over the years raised money to provide 50 houses in Burundi working with Danish charity ADRA

They also played Denmark’s longest football match 10 hours, donating 250.000 polio vaccines to UNICEF

In 2015 they launched their UNICEF CUP which over the years has included teams such as the TV Presenters, the Comedians, the Engineers, the Youtubers, the Musicians, the UNICEF volunteers and many others.

What really impresses me is ´not just the innovation in terms of who and where they play, but also the amazing fundraising and partnerships with charities and NGO´and the persistence, doing this, year after year – very impressive.

Anders Lunde and Simon Schiølin and the rest of the team are considering which ways forward, but we are convinced that they will keep playing in all sorts of places and raising loads of money for good causes across the world.

1500 football kits donated to kids in Uganda 

Highlighted on Danish prime time TV click here  

Meeting Diago Maradonna

Presenting another cheque for Red Cross

Playing football in the Arctic

Playing FC Barcelona – one  the very few other football clubs who are allowed to wear the UNICEF logo on their shirts

A hybrid model could be the way forward to get  more people active

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A hybrid model could be the way forward to get
more people active

A free webinar at 10 am (BST) on Wednesday 21st October

It’s time for a rethink and re-set for providers of community sport and physical activity

The coronavirus has had a profound impact on the way that many people exercise and enjoy sport.  Due to lockdowns, we could not (and in many cases, we still can’t) go to leisure centres or indoor sports clubs, or even join our Saturday morning Parkrun.

In many countries, the traditional leisure facilities are therefore facing considerable financial pressure, whilst workout-at-home brands like Peloton, Nautilus and NordicTrack are reporting massive increases in the number of subscribers, cycling is becoming increasingly popular (In the UK there is a shortage of bikes) and Amazon and Google are joining Apple and many others in launching fitness apps and videos.

                                    Family cycling                                                                                              Cycling at home

We are also an increase in the number of people joining traditional sports clubs but in more flexible ways.  In Denmark, they are seeing many families joining clubs but as part of a ‘motionsfællesskab’, or ‘exercise community’ which has proved popular with females who won’t/can’t commit to regular classes.  We are also experiencing golf clubs where people don’t have to join as members but simply buy say, 100 points, where a round on Saturday costs, say, 10 points whereas a round on a Monday afternoon only costs 4 points.
We are also experiencing a growing number of non-sports bodies, such as housing, patient associations and social enterprises delivering physical activity programmes to residents, patients and clients, respectively.

Cancer sufferer enjoying exercise provided by McMillan Cancer Support

Complacent people are mostly content with the status quo. “Yes, the numbers are down but that is down to X-Factor, the Government, funding cuts or the Internet. Nothing to do with what we do, and don’t do here.” (Yes, I am sure you have heard all the excuses and more).

It is certainly a case of the widest possible number of opportunities for being physically active we have probably ever had.

So, the question is whether we can really talk about ‘the sector’ as if there is one big homogenous community sport and leisure sector when there are so many diverse providers?

Does the average community sports club really welcome overweight people with underlying health conditions?  Does the fitness enthusiast want to (re)join their studio/centre when they have now taken out a £50 per month subscription to Peloton?  Can the family which has been used to doing family sport in the back garden join your place as a family? Family football or cricket, anyone?
My recommendation is that community sports and exercise providers, be they clubs, centres or must start developing and delivering what we now call ‘hybrid sport’ where they work with different formats, providers at various places and providing digital experiences and communication as described below:

So, we recommend that you accept that you will not return to the ‘old’ normal and that the ‘new’ normal will look distinctly different and that you will have to accept that.

Start with where you are right now.  If you are a place-based organisation such as a leisure centre, consider whether you can use other spaces nearer people’s lives such as football for men with dementia at care homes.  Can you work with community bodies to engage with unengaged and disengaged groups, develop new,  more appropriate formats and start using Zoom classes or online videos to engage with people at home?

So, you should take a more person-centred approach and not just “we are a rugby club/leisure centre and this is what we do’.  Consider a single mum with two kids who wants to exercise twice a week in front of the telly, join a social netball session once a week (when she has time) and attend, with the kids a family fit session on Sundays.  Can you meet her needs?

Yes, it will require new thinking and skills – but as Darwin said:

Active Tameside showing the way:  Tameside is a Borough in Greater Manchester with a population of around 225.000 people and is in the top 20% of the most deprived areas in the UK and where approximately 10% of the population have a disability or special need and roughly 10% of children live in poverty.

Active Tameside has over the years has been transformed into a social enterprise with a strong focus on health and social outcomes. There is a wide range of leisure and sports facilities, but what makes the organisation stand out is a wide range of (non-sports) partners and its work and delivery out in the community.

They’ve continued to deliver regular Health Walks – essential for maintaining fitness, social interaction and wellbeing for many vulnerable, older adults – easing concerns and encouraging those who need it most to take part, with six walks now back up and running across the borough.

Over the last few months, the trust has pulled out all the stops to keep in touch with its members and residents by live-streaming workouts and quizzes, posting online fitness instructor videos, nutrition, health and wellbeing advice, exercise resources and insightful blogs.

The future of the sports club, leisure trust and centre in the new normal world

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A free webinar with inspiration and ideas from leading experts and practitioners

The future of the sports club, leisure trust and centre in the new normal world

What options and opportunities we have to develop and invigorate our community sports providers and places

Several months in after the Covid-19 outbreak there is still considerable uncertainty as to how providers and places for community sport and physical activity will operate, adapt and progress in the future. Here at SMN, we have certainly seen a vast difference in the culture, performance and enterprise across the sector, with several providers adapting and engaging with their members and their communities, whereas almost went in hibernation.  Of course, that was also affected by local, regional and national circumstances. Of course, in many places, we are seeing redundancies and lay-offs which, no doubt, will also affect the skills and capabilities within our places for community sport and leisure.
Several months in after the Covid-19 outbreak there is still considerable uncertainty as to how providers and places for community sport and physical activity will operate, adapt and progress in the future. Here at SMN, we have certainly seen a vast difference in the culture, performance and enterprise across the sector, with several providers adapting and engaging with their members and their communities, whereas almost went in hibernation.  Of course, that was also affected by local, regional and national circumstances.
 
Of course, in many places, we are seeing redundancies and lay-offs which, no doubt, will also affect the skills and capabilities within our places for community sport and leisure.

So, these are challenging times but they also represent an opportunity for introducing new thinking, new partnerships, new technology and new ways of operating

 This webinar will highlight some of the options available, based on best practice from across many nations and will aim to inspire people within the sector on how to develop and evolve

SMN have brought in two leading community sport and physical leaders to present and participate in this webinar. One from a successful multi-sports club in Denmark and one from a successful leisure trust from Manchester, England.

The webinar panel team:

Christine Winding-Lauritzen, General Manager, Beder-Malling Idrætsforening (BMI) Christine has been instrumental in the amazing at this enterprising community sports club. Beder-Malling is a borough within Aarhus, Denmark’s second city with a population of approximately 10,000 and the club is an amazing hub for this community, with 3000 members enjoying sports and social activities. It is based at a local leisure centre, Egelund Idrætscenter which includes two sports halls, a 25-metre pool, tennis courts, football pitches, beach volley court and petanque courts. As a multi-sports club, it incorporates 16 different separate clubs and the whole culture is focused around both the enjoyment and benefits of being physically active and community aspects and bringing people together.

Their volunteer-run café runs all sorts of activities and brings in thousands of people and in 2019 was nominated for the Danish Sports Prize. Yes, a cafeteria! Due to all this great, led by Christine, the local council has decided to build more facilities at the centre, including a community library.

So, Christine certainly has a thing or two to say to about the possible future for the community sports club.

 Chris Rushton, Chief Executive, Active Tameside Tameside is a Borough in Greater Manchester with a population of around 225.000 people and is in the top 20% of the most deprived areas in the UK and where approximately 10% of the population have a disability or special need and roughly 10% of children live in poverty. Active Tameside has over the years has been transformed into a social enterprise with a strong focus on health and social outcomes. There is a wide range of leisure and sports facilities, but what makes the organisation stand out, is a wide range of (non-sports) partners and its work and delivery out in the community. The trust operates 9 leisure centres, 4 family attractions, 7 gyms, 5 swimming pools, 3 thermal spas, 3 creches, 5 cafes and 2 community cafes which serve 10.500 members and many others.

Chris Rushton, Chief Executive of Active Tameside, said: “We set out to support our communities as much as possible during the lockdown and I’d like to say a huge thanks to our services and staff for the vital work they have done and are continuing to do at a time which has been difficult for many.

Chris will have some exciting ideas and insights as to how leisure centres can become hubs for their communities.

The introduction will be given by Svend Elkjaer, Founder/Director, Sports Marketing Network (SMN) Svend has been running SMN for 15 years and has been described as a ‘positive disruptor’ within community sport and physical activity and has worked with hundreds of clubs, centres, sports bodies and community organisations helping them to become more innovative and enterprising and innovative.

Especially during the global lockdown has Svend been engaging with providers across the world sharing experiences on how best to develop a more able and agile culture and skillset to adapt to the rapidly changing world.

After the presentations there will be Q&A session and participants will have the opportunity to voice their opinions and put forward their ideas and experiences.
We reckon the webinar will last 45 minutes and it will be recorded and shared afterwards
Join the weebinar here

This webinar is free to attend, and members of the Sports Enterprise Network are also invited to book a 30-minute Zoom-session with Svend Elkjaer to discuss and get advice on how they best can adapt their particular club, centre or body to the new normal world.

You are more than welcome to send your questions and observations before the webinar to svend@smnuk.com

Driving Activity Economy Cymru and Scotland

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Driving Activity Economy Cymru and Scotland

Two innovative collaborations delivered through conferences with lead-in and follow-up webinars

Driving economic recovery,
improving health & wellbeing

Two innovative collaborations, delivered through conferences with lead-in and follow-up webinars designed to develop genuine partnerships between private businesses, social enterprises, charities and public sector bodies engaged in Scotland’s and Wales’s active economies, respectively.

Our objective is to facilitate collaboration, debate, learning and connections to shape system-wide and nation-wide solutions
.
We also believe that this post-COVID-19 period is the time and a huge opportunity to encourage change and innovation to help facilitate an exciting future for the activity economies in Wales and Scotland.

What is the Activity Economy?
Today, the £ Billion global activity economy incorporates such as sport, active recreation, health & wellness, and the technology, tourism and media related to those areas.

Through the activity economy, thousands of people are powering the economic and social prosperity of the community.

Whether it’s the thousands of people attending the Cardiff or the Inverness Half Marathons every year with the subsequent impact on the local economy, the impact on those providing short-term lodging for travellers, cyclists and ramblers or the impact on the local economy of arts, culture or food festivals, or the 250.000 social runners across Wales, or the thousands of spectators at the Melrose Sevens Rugby, these are all interlinked.

Melrose Sevens has been attracting thousands of visitors to the Borders since 1883

Cardiff Half Marathon attracts 25,000 runners and tens of thousands of visitors

Ramblers being active in beautiful Wales

The social enterprise Eat Sleep Ride provides riding lessons, hacking and trekking across the beautiful Scottish Borders.

During lockdown the She Runs: Cardiff ran their first virtual event, raising £2,833 or Cardiff Women’s Aid!

Whereas, Silicon Valley is a leader in technology and London in financial services – Wales and Scotland possess the natural resources – the people, environment and enterprise – to be global leaders in the activity economy.

But being a global leader rarely happens by accident.  It happens from planning and a commitment to pursuing that plan. Now, more than ever does the sector in Wales and Scotland need to pull together, innovate and collaborate.

The key sectors within the Activity Economy are organised sports, active recreation, active travel, infrastructure, tourism, arts & culture, education and health & wellbeing.

Powering the Activity Economy together

For too long, the activity economy and its players have simply been a sum of its parts. The result is that the ecosystem that supports an active Wales and Scotland is fragmented.

We are proposing that we should focus on collaboration and connecting the diverse players to enable them to review, reflect and learn how they should together more efficiently as a system today and in the future.

This innovative collaboration is an attempt to encourage people Iín Wales to become more active, in all sorts of ways, to enable the communities and drive the economy forward, in this post-COVID-19 period of the ‘new normal’.

Kickstarting The Activity Economies in Scotland and Wales after the pandemic whilst improving the population’s health and wellbeing

The coronavirus crisis has presented us with challenges and changes to all aspects of our lives and the way that the providers within the Activity Economy will be operating in the future.
A key question is how the new ‘normal’ going to look like and how you will respond.
Will the way that we enjoy being active, in all sorts of ways, be changing and, if so how can we adapt to that?  We are already experiencing many changes in people’s behaviour in the way we exercise (or not) and we are also seeing many great examples of community spirit, some of them, but perhaps not enough, coming from community sport.

Many providers within the activity economy are in danger of not playing a big enough role in people’s lives right now and are not at the front of people’s minds.  When all this is over and people’s habits have changed those who were visible during the crisis will have a much bigger chance of regaining, or even improving, their reputation and standing in their communities. 

Interested in learning more about these two projects in Wales and Scotland? Want to talk to us about running a similar collaboration where you are?
Then get in touch on +44 (0) 1423 326 660 or email svend@smnuk.com

The way forward

We are proposing setting up innovative collaborations, initially in Wales and Scotland which will help bring together all the players within the Activity Economy and drive a better partnership, increase the profile, improve skills and create synergies between the different players.

Project Kickstart Driving Activity Economy Cymru and Scotland
How to deliver enterprising live experiences in the new ‘normal’ world
A one-day conference, supported by interactive webinars on innovative solutions to drive our Activity Economy forward

Strategies, policies, experiences, real stories and successes to be told,
lessons to be learnt, ideas and experiences to be shared.

Three lead-in webinars
 
To introduce participants to the Project Kickstart approach they will be invited to participate in three one-hour long webinars which are designed to help them think and act in a new way where they maximise their opportunities for innovation, change and action.

Project Kickstart – Connecting, enabling and driving
The Activity Economy
 
How to deliver enterprising live experiences in the new ‘normal’ world
A one-day conference, supported by interactive webinars on innovative solutions to drive the Activity Economy forward
Strategies, policies, experiences, real stories and successes to be told,
lessons to be learnt, ideas and experiences to be shared.

1. Listening, learning and collaborating

This webinar will cover to be more user-focused demonstrate empathy and finding innovations and solutions that respond to human needs and user feedback.

We will focus on how to step into the user’s shoes and building genuine empathy for your target audience – we call it listening to people’s lives.

The webinar will also cover how to pool a diverse variety of perspectives and ideas; this is what leads to innovation! How to collaborate with others including bodies and people from outside your normal network and sphere – creating shared value.

2. Developing ideas and experiment
We will focus is on coming up with as many ideas and potential solutions as possible. This webinar will also cover how you can ideate where there is a designated judgment-free zone where participants are encouraged to focus on the number of ideas, rather than the quality.
3. A bias towards action

This webinar will cover how to turn your best ideas into prototypes, testing them, and making changes based on user feedback. You must be prepared to repeat certain steps in the process as you uncover flaws and shortcomings in the early versions of your proposed solution.

The main objective for these lead-in webinars is to help participants be more open ready for the conference.

Conference
This one-day conference will bring together people from a wide range of providers and partners with the active economy.  Delegates will have the opportunity to listen to senior representatives, learn from grassroots entrepreneurs and great case-studies and get inspired to kickstart the activity economy.

Three Follow-up Webinars
Over the three months following on delegates will be invited to participate in three follow-up webinars where they learn more, listen to other people’s experiences and stay motivated on their journey.
Want to learn more about the Actvivity Econnomy collaboration, then get in touch.

Over the three months following on delegates will be invited to participate in three follow-up webinars where they learn more, listen to other people’s experiences and stay motivated on their journey.

Interested in learning more about these two projects in Wales and Scotland? Want to talk to us about running a similar collaboration where you are?
Then get in touch on +44 (0) 1423 326 660 or email svend@smnuk.com