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Collaborate – Share – Learn

Collaborate – Share – Learn

Categories: Active Sussex News

A Look Back at the Active Sussex Annual Conference

On Thursday 14 September, we hosted our annual conference at the The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton. The conference aimed to provide a platform to drive greater collaboration among our local partners.

In partnership with our Corporate Partners Freedom Leisure, Jonathan Hughes, Chair, Active Sussex, set the scene for the day, by stating "the theme for today's conference is Collaborate - Share - Learn, and now more than ever, it's paramount that across the sports sector, we start working together."

Sadie Mason, CEO, Active Sussex touched on the production of this year's annual report, funding opportunities including the launch of Sport England's £3 million fund to tackle inactivity and economic disadvantage and the role of the CSP from April 2018. Sadie said "today is about brokering and facilitating relationships and we (Active Sussex) are ready to work with you, our partners, flexibly." 

Svend Elkjaer, founder of The Sports Marketing Network, kicked off the first workshop in the morning, discussing how to be successful in community sport and physical activity, explaining “that the Head, Heart, Hands and Hormones need to develop and collaborate, and with that dvelopment and collaboration, new and existing formats and providers need to be looked at."

With this in mind, Svend went onto explain that we shouldn't try and control innovation, but instead we should "be brave and work with it", even if this is in the form of "small baby steps initially." 

Svend then went onto facilitate some lively table discussions focused around the question, 'how are we getting inactive people active and who is going to do it?'

Martin Perry, Executive Director, Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Chair, Albion in the Community (BHAFC) finished the morning session, telling an inspiring story with people and community at its heart. He detailed the battles Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club has faced during the last 20 years, but highlighted how these battles have drawn the club and its supporters closer together.

Martin then went onto explain how the power of football can help a community and through BHAFC, Albion in the Community (AITC) has successfully been developed - the official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, 

  • Inspiring and motivating young people and their families to be physically active and to lead healthy lifestyles
  • Providing opportunities for young people to play football whatever their ability or background
  • Working with the local community, particularly those that are disadvantaged, to help raise aspirations and improve life chances.

The afternoon session saw four hot topic briefing sessions including:

Hot topic 1: Adults at Risk - led by Nicola Dean, Safeguarding Adults in Sport Manager, Ann Craft Trust

Hot topic 2: The political landscape - led by James Allen, Director of Policy, Governance and External Affairs, Sport and Recreation Alliance

Hot topic 3: GIVERS – volunteering in sport: how to recruit, retain and reward volunteers - led by Chantel Scherer, Director of Marketing, Communications and Member Engagement, Sport and Recreation Alliance

Hot topic 4: Current & future PE & sport landscape - led by Crichton Casbon, PE Consultant and Nick Chellel, School & Community Sports Officer, Active Sussex

Takeaway note

Svend nicely rounded off our annual conference by advocating that we become 'activity growers' through the following,

  • Engaging with local communities
  • Welcoming people of all shapes and sizes
  • Providing great experiences which all types of participants can enjoy
  • Telling a story through photos, videos and hashtags
  • Developing enterprise and innovation culture and skills

Jonathan took to the stage once more to close the conference, encouraging delegates to "stay true to what you're trying to do but try and think about what people (customers) actually want - become part of interesting conversations and don't be afraid to say things that are controversial, step outside your comfort zone. Be a hormone, talk to each other, work together!"

Not to forget

The nominations for this year's Sussex Sports Awards were officially launched at the end of the conference. For further information about the award criteria and nominations rules, including details of the nomination form, please click here.

For partners' wanting to learn more about the successes in the past year for Active Sussex, please refer to this year's Annual Report, found here.

All that's left to say is a huge thank you to our sponsors for your ongoing support, especially our Corporate Partners Freedom Leisure, as well as a thank you to all who attended yesterday's conference, we hope you left with some key takeaways from the day's sessions.

Event photography available via our Facebook page here.