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11 Nov 2019

Sport England: 'Spogo was unsustainable, but not a waste'
BY Tom Walker

Spogo was supposed to help make it easy for people to find sporting opportunities close to where they live

Spogo was supposed to help make it easy for people to find sporting opportunities close to where they live
photo: Shutterstock

Sport England has published an update on its digital strategy, in which the grassroots organisation offers insight into its handling of Spogo, a now defunct online resource which was meant to offer the public an easy way to find sporting opportunities.

Spogo was marketed as the cornerstone of Sport England's digital legacy plans for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Launched in July 2012, the service was supposed to be delivered in partnership between Sport England and the then Fitness Industry Association, which rebranded as ukActive in November 2012.

"As part of our investments in our previous strategy, we attempted to create the nation’s biggest sport and fitness finder – Spogo," Sport England said in the update.

"However, we quickly learnt that what seemed like the obvious solution to supporting more people to get active, was anything but.

"Not only was this approach not sustainable, due to the high costs of nationally marketing Spogo, but data about what activities were happening where and when was not of a sufficient standard to give people the information and quality experience they expected online – our ambition was too big.

"The solution was too generic to meet the needs of everyone – for example the kind of experience a really active person needs when finding their new club is totally different to that needed by a complete beginner unsure of their next steps.

"The project was not a waste though, as it led us to a relationship with the Open Data Institute initiative, which encourages organisations from across the sector to openly release their opportunity data in a standardised way.

"From Spogo we also learned that national organisations, however big, may not be best placed to create consumer-facing solutions to increase activity levels themselves.

"And that a concerted effort in improving the quality of the underlying data, and ensuring easy access to it, is paramount for innovators to succeed."

To read the full update, click here for the Sport England website.



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