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Active Sussex Conference highlights the need for a cultural change

Active Sussex Conference highlights the need for a cultural change

Categories: Active Sussex Events

Wednesday 29 September 2021

The second virtual Active Sussex Conference was a big success last week, seeing 145 delegates registered to the online keynotes and workshops. The day included local and national updates shared and discussions around current hot-topics and challenges to do with physical activity in Sussex.

The day was launched with an inspiring opening keynote from Sir Muir Gray who leads on the Live Longer Better programme

Sharing insights and learnings from the Live Longer Better community of practice, Sir Muir spoke about how a loss of fitness as we get older is often the cause of physical decline rather than ageing itself.

Sir Muir said: “Activity of the body, the brain and the mind can reduce your risks of dementia and disability and help you live longer. A lot of people think that health problems as we get older are due to ageing, but they aren't usually due to ageing at all. It's often due to inactivity.”

This summed up the key message that emerged from the keynote and subsequent discussions, which was the need for a cultural revolution - encouraging a narrative of “enablement” rather than “care”, and supporting people to get moving as they get older.

A delegate from Brighton Electricity Football Club said: “What an inspiring keynote! Lots of opportunities for collaboration, to engage and educate.”

The second session of the day saw Ed Sandham, Strategic Lead - Active Partnerships, Sport England discuss the new Sport England 10-year strategy, Uniting the Movement strategy. Facilitated and collaborative discussions delved into how the strategy can best be implemented as a network over the next year and beyond. 

The afternoon began with two engaging and powerful case studies from Brighton Yoga Foundation and Albion in the Community, sharing their respective experiences with tackling the inequalities that prevent many groups from leading active lives and enjoying the benefits of physical activity. The session was rounded up with a Q&A session diving deeper into some of the lessons learned.

The conference ended with a valuable session with CIMSPA, sharing where the Sussex sport and physical activity workforce currently stands in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the support, development opportunities and courses that are available.

The Conference also provided CIMSPA CPD points for all attendees.

Sadie Mason MBE, Chief Executive at Active Sussex said: “While it was a shame not to be able to hold our annual conference in person this year, our virtual event, again, presented new opportunities to reach a wider network and create a format that was accessible to many people. We were delighted with the range of speakers, sharing insights, experiences and getting involved in collaborative discussions. Plenty of food for thought for delegates as always!”

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