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Game Changers: The latest technology and innovation in the world of sport

A look at the technology and innovation currently making waves across the world of sport

Published in Sports Management 02 May 2016 issue 119

Get your boots on

A regional football association is tackling falling participation numbers by launching an innovative ‘match-maker’ app in order to attract lapsed footballers back in the game.

Birmingham County Football Association’s (BCFA) Get Your Boots On is a new platform designed to help grassroots footballers find a “perfect match” for them and could transform the way the grassroots game connects.

The system brings players and teams together based on preferred playing times, locations, and formats, ultimately helping them find a suitable match for them on their mobile, tablet or smartphone.
Players who register their details onto the platform can select a specific format of football they wish to play; along with suitable days, times and locations.

The 4,000 BCFA teams which will adopt Get Your Boots On will, in turn, be able to look for players to join them, making access to the game easier for players who might otherwise turn to other forms of recreational sport for fitness and to socialise.

Chad Ehlertsen, BCFA chief executive said: “There is real focus to support the male grassroots game by ensuring teams have large enough squads and we see a real opportunity to develop women’s participation. We believe this new website can make it simple for those who want to join or get back into the game to ‘get their boots on’”.

Players will be able to find matches on suitable days, times and locations
Players will be able to find matches on suitable days, times and locations

Green designs

Global architects practice HOK has become the first design company to adopt the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification system.

EDGE is supported by software which enables project teams to determine the financial viability of sustainable strategies early in the design process. After determining the most cost-effective options to reach the EDGE standards – such as reducing energy and water use by 20 per cent – project teams are able to use the certification system for verification.

Certification is administered by the Green Building Certification Inc. (GBCI) – the body which certifies LEED projects.

HOK has signed a one-year deal to use EDGE and has committed to using the software on at least five projects in emerging markets over the next year.

Anica Landreneau, HOK’s director of sustainable design, said: “EDGE will be especially valuable for the design of sport, retail, residential, office, and healthcare buildings in developing countries, where passive design and practical solutions are essential strategies for sustainability.”

HOK will use EDGE on five projects
HOK will use EDGE on five projects

Legendary solutions

The operator of the National Cycling Centre (NCC) in Manchester has a new membership system which will capture all relevant information about how its customers engage with the facility and its services.

Eastlands Trust, which manages the NCC on behalf of the City of Manchester, has installed Legend Club Management Systems’ membership management and online booking system – bringing it in line with the other facilities also managed by the trust.

The new system will offer improved data and information on how customers use the wide range of NCC’s facilities – which include a velodrome track, an indoor BMX facility and public mountain bike trails – and will allow the trust to move to customer-centric decision making.

“The NCC is not a traditional venue,” said Eastlands Trust manager Shaun Brennan. “We’re the home of British Cycling, but also deliver a range of elite events alongside the provision of local community access, club nights and school holiday access.

“We do this across the range of our facilities – from the velodrome itself, BMX and mountain biking to bespoke cycling training courses. We want to increase engagement and be in a position to further promote cycling as a sport; having greater insight and an accurate picture of who our customers are is obviously key to this."

The system will produce data on how customers use the NCC’s range of facilities
The system will produce data on how customers use the NCC’s range of facilities

Going pro

US-based video eyewear and smart glass tech developer Vuzix has become one of the first companies to have access to the GoPro Developer Program toolkits. The partnership will allow GoPro wearable cameras to connect with smart glass technology developed by Vuzix.

Linking wirelessly with Vuzix glasses will allow users of GoPro cameras complete hands-free viewfinder and control capability. Control of the camera will also utilise advanced speech recognition capabilities built into the Vuzix products.

“Connectivity with GoPro products through the Developer Program is a significant advance," said Paul Travers, president and CEO at Vuzix. "In the prosumer space, the combination of our glasses with GoPro cameras is a perfect tool for the creation of immersive content.

“The connectivity can also be used to achieve an increase in productivity in other areas of industry. With the video capability, users who work remotely can see and experience the offsite location as if they were actually there.”

The eyewear allows users to work remotely and experience offsite locations as if they were physically there
The eyewear allows users to work remotely and experience offsite locations as if they were physically there
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