Job search
Job Search

Andy Reed

Measuring our impact – why?

by Andy Reed | Published in Sports Management 2020 issue 3
 Any measuring should provide evidence about the efficacy of the investment that sport receives
Any measuring should provide evidence about the efficacy of the investment that sport receives

At times, one of the biggest challenges facing our sector seems to be to convince those outside of it on the power of sport and physical activity. Too many decision-makers still do not seem to get what we consider obvious: sport changes lives and physical activity is the magic pill to solve many of the nation's health issues.

In trying to prove its worth, I feel that the sector has at times chased the wrong KPIs and targets at the cost of delivering what it is supposed to. Thankfully, there has been a gradual move away from the traditional approach of simply counting outputs. It is being replaced with an increased interest in data collection and a push towards measuring the sector's impact.

But while it might be better to measure outcomes, I would question why and how the sector is doing it?

The matter was brought to the fore during February with the launch of various new services – such as State of Life – designed to measure the sector's impact. There is a fundamental point to collecting data, of course. But why are we doing it? To learn or to make further funding bids? To ‘prove’ to a funder that we are making an impact?

There is no escaping the fact that, on a national level, resources remain limited and we are competing for public and private spending with those outside our sector. The sector's response seems to have been to create multiple, confusing platforms for collecting data and showing it in the most attractive format. But why? Is it the outcomes, impact or value we want to measure? And how much can we really claim to be due to our work?

While measuring impacts is fine, I believe that if we really want to make the case for the sports sector – and ensure it is taken seriously in the corridors of power – we need to create hard economic evidence about the efficacy of the investment we receive. We might know it ourselves, but we need to convince government departments that investing in physical activity might be preferable to ploughing money in treating preventable, life-style diseases through the NHS.

We need to think really carefully about what we measure and why. It needs to be more than just for our funder. We really need to know at project and ecosystem level what is working and to keep it as ‘live’ as possible.

One thing is for sure. In the government's eyes, the Treasury's Green Book is what will ultimately determine our monetary value. While the book is not a mechanical decision-making device – but rather provides approved guidance and methods – it helps officials develop evidence-based advice for decision making that is consistent across government. And has done so for nearly half a century. The sector's evidence better stack up to the book's demands – or the evidence runs the risk of being ignored.

Sign up for FREE ezines
Sports jobs

Recreation Assistant (Dry Site)

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Market Rasen

Party Leader

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Gainsborough

Cleaning Assistant

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive pay rates
Location: Gainsborough

Duty Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Gainsborough

Duty Manager

The Pickaquoy Centre
Salary: £30,000pa + local Govt pension + attractive benefits package
Location: Kirkwall, UK

Team Leader (Harrow School Fitness Club)

Harrow School
Salary: £13.71 per hour
Location: Harrow on the Hill, Harrow, UK

Centre Manager (Leisure)

Exeter City Council
Salary: £40,221 - £42,403pa + pension + benefits
Location: Exeter, UK

Director of Operations

Active Luton
Salary: £61,000 - £64,000 + exceptional pension + excellent benefits
Location: Luton, UK

Fitness Motivator

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Lutterworth
recruiting with sports management

Recreation Assistant/Lifeguard (NPLQ required)

Everyone Active
Salary: 9.50 ph
Location: Lutterworth

Membership Manager

University of Warwick
Salary: £29,605 - £32,982pa + pension + benefits
Location: Coventry, UK

Recreation Assistant

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary
Location: Wigston

Swim Teacher

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Shipston-on-Stour

Swim Teacher

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Shipston-on-Stour

Chief Executive Officer, Mount Batten Centre

Mount Batten Group
Salary: c£65,000pa + pension + benefits
Location: Plymouth, UK

Swimming Teacher

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rates of pay
Location: Rickmansworth, UK
recruiting with sports management

Swimming Teacher

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rates of pay
Location: Watford, UK
Swimming Teacher jobs  duty manager jobs  Team Leader jobs  recreation assistant jobs  Swim Manager jobs  general manager jobs 
More jobs

Company profile

Company profile: Elevate
The UK's largest annual trade event dedicated to physical activity, health, and performance
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

Webinar: Building a new energy future for the leisure sector
As one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK, leisure facilities face a critical challenge in balancing net zero goals, funding and increased costs.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Property & Tenders

Location: Loughton, IG10
Company: Knight Frank
Location: Grantham, Leicestershire
Company: Belvoir Castle
Location: Verwood, Dorset
Location: Hall Place House, Bexley, DA5 1PQ
Company: London Borough of Bexley
Location: 15 Concessions across the nation's forests
Company: Forestry England
More properties & tenders

Diary dates

10-12 May 2024
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
23-24 May 2024
Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various
More diary dates