Getting more people active Oxfordshire

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Getting more people active

How to attract more people into our clubs, centres, parks and events


9.00 am – 4.00 pm, 10th December 2021

Exeter Hall, Oxford Road,

Kidlington, OX5 1AB


An inspiring and innovative one-day workshop for everyone involved with community sports, physical activity and health & wellness

New challenges and opportunities post-pandemic…

Despite continued efforts, and various initiatives, community sport and physical activity in England 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.

The sporting landscape has changed enormously in recent years. Government and community expectations for good governance, integrity, equality, member protection and child safeguarding means that providing safe, fair and inclusive sporting environments is no longer an aspiration, but an imperative.

The demographic of the communities in which sport operates has also changed dramatically. Our culturally, linguistically and gender diverse communities are looking for sporting options and experiences that celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and most importantly, make people feel like they belong.


Community sport needs to adopt a new mindset and learn a new skill set – taking the best from successful social enterprises and the hospitality sector.  It has to recognise that sport operates in the experience business and that it is competing for people’s leisure time and money and has to attract people away from online shopping, watching Love Island, apathy, etc. by providing better experiences for each customer segment.

Life is changing and providers within community sport have to change with it, full stop. Or even better – if you listen to people and their lives you should be able to anticipate the changes in their needs and wants. You can then adapt your offering and service so you are always that half a step ahead. 

 We need more welcoming activators – not more technical coaches

 For many people, great coaching is roughly 10% technical skill, 20% being reactive and able to think on your feet and about 70% being nice to people. In their research into the sporting workforce published in 2017, London Sport asked almost 2000 regular Londoners what they’d mostly be looking for in a sports leader and things like ‘focused on fitness’ and ‘focused on technique’ came pretty far down the list. What came out consistently on top were qualities like ‘motivating’, ‘friendly’ and ‘not going to judge me’.

Increasingly there has to be a focus on improving customer experience, developing more efficient systems and ensuring a sustainable balance between sporting ambitions and economic resources.  This calls for a new mindset and skill set – it is no longer enough to have passion for your club and sport; you need competencies.

You are not ‘just a sports place’

You are in the experience business

I guess most people who work in sport and active leisure sector do so because they love their sport, but in reality, their key role is to provide great sporting and customer experiences which people will want to return to. We do compete for people’s leisure time and money, so if you want to attract people away from the shopping centres, watching Love Island, apathy etc. we must provide a better alternative.  So welcoming people, the right social life, friendly, competent coaches/instructors and clean toilets are not just after-thoughts, they are key parts of the experience you provide, as is a welcoming handshake and a smile accompanied with a “Welcome to our place.”

 We believe, and increasingly research proves, that you simply have to consistently provide consumer experiences that people will want to join – and pay for as customers.  Because that’s what they are: Customers.  Regardless of whether you are coaching in a sports club, trying to attract 50 more people to your local club or leisure centre, you can grow by focusing on your customers. Listen to them and provide them with a better experience.  And the good news is that it does not have to cost a penny.

 A workshop with exciting, practical content delivered in an engaging way…

 This workshop will provide you thoughts, tools and to-dos that you use there and then to get more people active.

It will cover

  •  Being a great experience provider
  • People are different. Some are nervous, some indifferent, some energetic and a whole range of other things, Whatever the person type, they all have to be motivated; often in different ways. In addition, there can be many different stakeholders: participants, members, parents, officials and other coaches amongst others. This section will focus on how to communicate effectively with all of these different groups. They will all want great experiences but that means different things to different people. Opportunities for using social media to stay in touch with people (in line with appropriate safeguarding rules) will also be highlighted.
  • Physical activity does not have to take place in a club or leisure centre Many ‘sports’ places deter inactive people (do they really want all those unfit and non-sporty people there?


  • “thinking differently is the key to getting all parts of society active”
  • Identify
  • Work with Community Connectors – People with a special gift for bringing people and communities together
  • Take your project into your community – shopping centres, community events, housing estates, parks
  • Think of the whole experience of joining your club: (Moment Mapping)
  • Be more than just a place for being active
  • How to run a really open Open Day
  • The three 2s – The Simplest Guide Ever to Grow the Number of People at Your Club. 2 seconds: First impressions count. 2 minutes (welcome) 2 hours (the whole experience)

This workshop is aimed at

  • The existing workforce helping them to develop and encourage a new way of thinking within the current workforce
  • New providers attracting a new type of delivery agent from outside the traditional sport sector
  • Social entrepreneurs stepping forward and support their ideas