Introducing the Activity Grower Academy – innovative training to get more people active: redefining the workforcee
There is a strong focus across the UK on increasing levels of physical activity. This will mean reaching new audiences which, by definition, must include the inactive. The social benefits which are brought to communities by being physically active are wide ranging and well documented. From health and wellbeing to educational attainment and social cohesion. However simply moving active people into new and different activities will not be enough to achieve these bold ambitions.
Many of us aspire to leverage the power of sport to bring people from different backgrounds together – strengthening our communities whilst improving the physical and mental health of everybody. Whilst such ambitions share many commonalities, it is important to recognise that they are not always complementary to the current landscape for sport and physical activity.
We must understand that sport does not resonate with everyone and hence it will not act as a cohesive ingredient by default in every situation; least of all with those for whom sport is not a current part of their lives. However by identifying a common cause within sport and physical activity which anyone, whether active or inactive, can get behind, we can broaden the appeal and create a sense of shared ownership behind which people from different backgrounds can unite.
To achieve such ambitions there is a clear role to be played by innovation, as well as a significant contribution to be made by the existing workforce. We need a workforce that understands people at every level of the sporting spectrum and recognises that not everybody can be, or even wants to a sports star; however everybody wants to feel accepted.
A recent survey of the sporting workforce showed only 2 in 5 had any sense that working with inactive people was for them
Whilst this group is smaller than we might like, we can nonetheless embrace this significant minority who see a sport sector that is truly for everyone. They, alongside new and innovative providers, can be enabled to reclaim sport and all its rewards for everyone, regardless of ability
Is our current sporting workforce fit for purpose?
The expertise of the existing sporting workforce is undoubtedly extensive, however, a focus on technical skills has held centre stage for too long. Whilst these have a place and education programmes within these areas will continue, we cannot expect the number of people being active to rise solely based on improving technical capability.
The Activity Grower Academy will provide innovative training and support based on these principles for three key workforce audiences: