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Sport England targets increased activity levels through local pilot schemes

By Andy Knaggs    26 Apr 2019
Sport England is halfway through its five-year strategy, Towards an Active Nation / Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

Twelve local delivery pilot schemes that aim to understand how local identities can be used to deliver sustainable increases in physical activity levels, have been launched by Sport England.

The organisation's recently installed CEO Tim Hollingsworth revealed details of the project – which represent a significant change in the way the public body goes about its business – in an exclusive interview with Sports Management, published in Issue 1 2019.

Hollingsworth explained how his tenure at Sport England was moving from its initial phase of understanding what the organisation's new purpose, targets and responsibilities are, to one of putting in place the policies that will achieve these goals.

The targeted pilots are part of that process, he said: "We are now doing quite a lot of what in the corporate world would be called ‘test and learn’. These include our local delivery pilots and the work we are doing around our data and our campaigning. So we’re doing things that are relatively new to the system. We need to learn from them, see whether they work, and then decide whether they are the right things to be doing."

The delivery pilots recognise that communities have their own unique structures, relationships and geography. By studying these it is hoped to deliver sustainable increases in activity levels in those localities.

One example of the targeted pilots is the Everyone Active, Every Day project in the London Borough of Hackney.

The area – which has a large Black African/Caribbean population – is characterised by high levels of deprivation, low levels of education and high unemployment. Insight gathered during the early stages of the pilot has enabled the Sport England-funded programme to segment the audience according to specific needs, and design interventions with partners to address them.

Hollingsworth is sure that such targeted programmes are the way forward, even if some of the pilots might prove less successful than others. The map below shows where these pilot schemes are taking place.

"We spend a lot of time, quite rightly, on insight and evidencing what we do,” he said, “but a part of that must also be to have the boldness to get insight into something that doesn’t work – as well as looking to replicate something that does. As a public body, that is quite a challenge. But we need to be unafraid of that challenge."

To read the full article see Issue 1 2019 of Sports Management here

Tim Hollingsworth: "We’re doing things that are relatively new to the system. We need to learn from them, see whether they work, and then decide whether they are the right things to be doing."
Twelve local delivery pilots aim to understand the power of community
Sport England  Tim Hollingsworth  local delivery pilots  Everyone Active  Every Day 
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