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Tim Hollingsworth: thinking differently the key to getting all parts of society active
08 May 2019 . BY Tom Walker
Hollingsworth said the entire sports sector must re-evaluate its thinking in order to get everyone in society physically active
Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth has called for the sport and physical activity sector to rethink the way it addresses the challenge to get people from all backgrounds more physically active.

Speaking at the Elevate 2019 Conference at the ExCel Centre in London, Hollingsworth highlighted the need to tackle the "stubborn inequalities" that result in parts of society – including people from south Asian, black or other ethnic origins – being less active.

The Active Lives Survey, published last month, showed that a quarter of the population (25.1 per cent) – around 11.3 million people – remain physically inactive. The report revealed that women from lower socio-economic groups and black and South Asian communities were among the least active.

Focusing on the point, Hollingsworth described an encounter he had during a recent site visit.

"One afternoon back in March, visiting a place called Glodwick in Oldham, I had one of the defining moments of my career at Sport England so far," he said.

"I was visiting the Ghazali Trust, a voluntary organisation which has taken over Clemency House, previously home to a rather unloved and very underused swimming pool – a typical example of a facility not serving the needs of the community.

"Majid Hussain is one of the local leaders and a driving force behind the trust and on my visit he said two things that really made an impression on me.

"While explaining Sport England’s approach to connecting with and inspiring people at a local level, Majid caught me out after I referred to the community as ‘hard to reach.’ “Hang on a minute. We are not hard to reach. We have been here for 20 years. You’ve just never tried”, he said.

"As advice goes, that’s pretty direct stuff. And behind it is a profound thought for anyone in the sport and physical activity sector who is working to better the health of the nation and especially the 16.8 million people who aren’t regularly active.

"These groups of people and communities are not hard to reach – we have just not effectively engaged them and made sport and physical activity a practical and enjoyable option.

"As I left I asked Majid for one further bit of advice he could give me. He said: “Don’t try and make us more like you".

"He’s right again. If we want to inspire people to get active, we have to put ourselves in their shoes and give them what they want, not what we think they need. The customer experience has to come first when we’re delivering sport and physical activity. We must make activity attractive and easy to fit into people’s lives – whatever their faith, current financial situation, or age.

"If we keep offering things in the same way to the same people we will get the same results. That’s why Sport England is prioritising making sport and physical activity attractive and easy to fit into people’s everyday lives."

Issuing a call to arms, Hollingsworth added that the entire sports sector must re-evaluate some of its approaches, in order to reach the most inactive sections of society.

"Today, I am calling on the sports and physical activity sector to think about how we can address Majid’s challenge," he said.

"As we continue to develop the way we work we need to focus on how we can put those groups who struggle to be active, at the heart of our work. How we can, in essence, become more like them."

Taking place today and tomorrow (8-9 May), Elevate is one of the largest gatherings for the UK's physical activity sector. The event includes a programme of seminars featuring more than 300 speakers and a show floor housing more than 350 exhibitors.

• To read an interview with Tim Hollingsworth, click here for the latest issue of Sports Management magazine.
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PRODUCT NEWS
Tim Hollingsworth: thinking differently the key to getting all parts of society active
08 May 2019 . BY Tom Walker
Hollingsworth said the entire sports sector must re-evaluate its thinking in order to get everyone in society physically active
Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth has called for the sport and physical activity sector to rethink the way it addresses the challenge to get people from all backgrounds more physically active.

Speaking at the Elevate 2019 Conference at the ExCel Centre in London, Hollingsworth highlighted the need to tackle the "stubborn inequalities" that result in parts of society – including people from south Asian, black or other ethnic origins – being less active.

The Active Lives Survey, published last month, showed that a quarter of the population (25.1 per cent) – around 11.3 million people – remain physically inactive. The report revealed that women from lower socio-economic groups and black and South Asian communities were among the least active.

Focusing on the point, Hollingsworth described an encounter he had during a recent site visit.

"One afternoon back in March, visiting a place called Glodwick in Oldham, I had one of the defining moments of my career at Sport England so far," he said.

"I was visiting the Ghazali Trust, a voluntary organisation which has taken over Clemency House, previously home to a rather unloved and very underused swimming pool – a typical example of a facility not serving the needs of the community.

"Majid Hussain is one of the local leaders and a driving force behind the trust and on my visit he said two things that really made an impression on me.

"While explaining Sport England’s approach to connecting with and inspiring people at a local level, Majid caught me out after I referred to the community as ‘hard to reach.’ “Hang on a minute. We are not hard to reach. We have been here for 20 years. You’ve just never tried”, he said.

"As advice goes, that’s pretty direct stuff. And behind it is a profound thought for anyone in the sport and physical activity sector who is working to better the health of the nation and especially the 16.8 million people who aren’t regularly active.

"These groups of people and communities are not hard to reach – we have just not effectively engaged them and made sport and physical activity a practical and enjoyable option.

"As I left I asked Majid for one further bit of advice he could give me. He said: “Don’t try and make us more like you".

"He’s right again. If we want to inspire people to get active, we have to put ourselves in their shoes and give them what they want, not what we think they need. The customer experience has to come first when we’re delivering sport and physical activity. We must make activity attractive and easy to fit into people’s lives – whatever their faith, current financial situation, or age.

"If we keep offering things in the same way to the same people we will get the same results. That’s why Sport England is prioritising making sport and physical activity attractive and easy to fit into people’s everyday lives."

Issuing a call to arms, Hollingsworth added that the entire sports sector must re-evaluate some of its approaches, in order to reach the most inactive sections of society.

"Today, I am calling on the sports and physical activity sector to think about how we can address Majid’s challenge," he said.

"As we continue to develop the way we work we need to focus on how we can put those groups who struggle to be active, at the heart of our work. How we can, in essence, become more like them."

Taking place today and tomorrow (8-9 May), Elevate is one of the largest gatherings for the UK's physical activity sector. The event includes a programme of seminars featuring more than 300 speakers and a show floor housing more than 350 exhibitors.

• To read an interview with Tim Hollingsworth, click here for the latest issue of Sports Management magazine.
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myFitApp launches branded live-streaming as part of its COVID-19 support package
Innovatise, the company behind myFitApp, has announced the immediate availability of its customer- branded live-streaming solution.
EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations.
Bicester hotel opens purpose-built performance facilities to attract new target audience
The Bicester Hotel and Spa has launched purpose-built fitness and performance facilities to create a standalone, unique offering to attract a new demographic to the site.
EGYM launches digital functionality to help gyms adjust to a post lockdown world
As Governments turn attention to a lockdown exit strategy, the world is bracing itself for a ‘new norm’ where social distancing and heightened hygiene requirements become a part of daily life.
Adidas calls on BLK BOX for flooring solutions at new World of Sports complex
Adidas believes that creators, just like athletes, need an environment that inspires their employees to perform and believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives.
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There is no escaping the fact that we are operating in extraordinary times. Our physical health clubs, gyms and studios are closed and we’re trying to keep our membership engaged, fit and healthy via online and digital training.
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Created by Al Rollins - one of the world’s foremost experts on exercise adherence - our mission is [more...]
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02-05 Jun 2020

MIPIM

Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France
04 Jun 2020

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Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 


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