Promoting Sport & Physical Activity

Sports equipment
Tackling inequalities in sport a key theme at Active Sussex Conference

Tackling inequalities in sport a key theme at Active Sussex Conference

Categories: Active Sussex Events

The first virtual Active Sussex Conference went off without a ‘glitch’ last week and saw over 130 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 insightful opening keynote from Mike Diaper OBE, Executive Director of Children and Young People, Tackling Inactivity at Sport England.

Sharing Sport England’s ‘Shaping our Future’ Strategy Framework and the organisation’s response to Covid-19, a key message that emerged from the presentation and subsequent discussions was the importance of tackling the persistent inequalities across the sector in order to improve activity levels across all areas of the country.

Mike Diaper said: “When we move, we are stronger. We have to stand together to work against the barriers to physical activity”.

This summed up the underlying message of the Sport England Strategy Framework, which is that sport and physical activity plays a vital role in restarting the economy, reconnecting communities and rebuilding a stronger society.

The second keynote saw Tom Burton, National Partnerships Lead at Sport England and Jane Knowles, CEO at Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership discuss supporting those living with long-term health conditions to be active. They hosted a Q&A and shared best practice examples of using data and insight to inspire and encourage those living with health conditions to get moving.

The first afternoon workshop began with an engaging and moving talk from Viv Woodcock-Downey, Trustee at Active Sussex, on the topic of actively encouraging diversity and fighting racism, in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and widening inequalities through Covid-19.

The conference ended with an interactive marketing session from Social Media Strategist, Caroline Drake from Blossom Social Media, and Carrie Smith, PR & Communications Officer at Active Sussex. The session saw a lively discussion around successfully communicating with target audiences and practical takeaways for delegates. Carrie Smith also shared learnings from Active Sussex’s Specsavers ‘Virtual’ Sussex School Games event that kept 70,000+ Sussex young people active through lockdown.

Sadie Mason MBE, Chief Executive at Active Sussex said: “While it was a shame not to host our annual conference in the usual way, organising the virtual event created new opportunities, opening the sessions up to a wider network and creating a more accessible format for people. We were delighted to have such brilliant speakers, sharing important insights, and sparking challenging and educational discussions amongst delegates.”


Ricky Perrin, Team Manager of the Sussex Bears wheelchair basketball team said: “Thank you for today’s conference. I logged in for all 6 hours that covered everything from inclusion and diversity, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ support and marketing, with great speakers from Sport England and Active Sussex. Amazing networking.”

To find out more and keep up to date with the latest insight and news sign up to our monthly newsletter at www.activesussex.org/newsletter.