Why Sports 2022 – 6 Takeaways

Following his attendance at the Why Sports conference at the Royal Society of Medicine, Alliance Delivery Manger Chris Ames feeds back some of the essential takeaways that he identified at the compelling event.

  1. Opportunity to integrate GPs with principles of the Physical Activity Guidelines

    Physical inactivity costs the UK £7.4billion p.a., but shockingly only 36% of GPs are “somewhat” familiar with the Physical Activity Guidelines. This statistic gives us the impetus to engage more thoroughly with local GP surgeries, from the initial stages of our projects, to share and promote the future services that can be utilised for referrals as a result of our local development projects. This will in turn help GPs to understand the benefits of physical activity, the guidelines, and hopefully increase the number of ‘aware’ GP surgeries who can promote new leisure facilities to their patients for the benefit of their health.

  2. NHS Link Workers

    We learned about the invaluable role that NHS Link Workers play in identifying gaps in local provision: gaps that the most vulnerable in our communities would benefit from. As a company, we will endeavour to seek out and engage with these Link Workers in a consultee capacity as part of our stakeholder work when developing concepts for our projects. This will undoubtedly improve our work of providing community leisure facilities that provide for these gaps and better address local inactivity and inequality needs even further.

  3. The issue of isolation

    Isolation is becoming a bigger and bigger issue amongst those working in a hybrid manner or solely from home. Following our learning from Why Sports, we are more eager than ever to work with local authority partners to promote community working spaces as part of community leisure development. Providing these active, shared working spaces will offer a chance for people to collaborate with others in a communal, safe, and familiar space, as well as being a break from the isolation of home working.

  4. Active travel

    It was established through discussions and presentations at the event that we are in a position to truly champion behavioural change around how people travel. Public consultation could easily be utilised to educate and challenge the established behaviours and thought process behind travel and to develop concepts that enable people to move better and easier by foot or by cycle in safe and attractive environments.

  5. Active Design Champions

    A concept presented at the event inspired both Chris and Alliance Leisure as a whole, that of the “Active Design Champion”. Said champions focus on promoting movement within all elements of design, from access and egress to correlation between indoor and outdoor areas, as well as further afield through promoted active travel plans. We are keen to develop a corporate pledge or strategy committing ourselves to ensuring that activity is designed into all elements of our concepts, and to challenge, educate, and promote behavioural change amongst planners and policies that may restrict design innovation in this way.

  6. Improving the health of hospitals

    A staggering statistic revealed at Why Sports was that those hospital patients with a length of stay between 8-15 days lose; 20% of their quad strength, 10% of their cardiovascular capacity, and around 1.5kg of muscle mass, due to being at ‘rest’ as an inpatient. This in turn spurned the idea of proactively reaching out to hospitals and medical universities to see what support we can offer them. This could even take the form of championing and designing “active wards”, providing active areas for staff and visitors and tackle these issues. Furthermore, there is plenty of room for the exploration of collaborative developments or joint development initiatives between health, education, and leisure/sport. Bringing these sectors together would generate greater cohesive learning, understanding of the benefits of activity, education through enjoyment of leisure within a safe and trusted space, and, of course, efficiencies of cost.

Discover our projects that are helping to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation.
Get in touch to discuss how we can help you with your project and achieve your aims and objectives.
get in touch