Following on from discussions at the back end of 2011 cCLOA has been working closely with Sport England to try and improve the engagement of NGB’s and Sport England with Local Authorities. This culminated in cCLOA being invited to a meeting of NGB Chief Execs and Development Directors early this year to set out our challenges and the how we could possibly work more closely together to increase participation.
One of the main outcomes of this event was to explore some of these opportunities and challenges in more detail and subsequently a 2 day session was held over the 26-27thMarch. This event included most of the key NGB’s that are reliant on our support e.g. the FA and ASA, as well as a number of local authorities and CSP’s from across England. Members of the cCLOA were also invited.
In summary some of the key messages were;
- The Landscape is fast changing and NGBs must understand it, including the role of LA’s as commissioners.
- There is scope, and a real willingness on all sides, to significantly improve joint working
- We (all of us) need to considerably simplify the offer on the ground if we are to link to commissioning bodies better
- There needs to be investment in the ‘people’ side of sport, developing stronger clubs to be less reliant on LA support
- The growing proliferation of community clubs/operations seeking charitable status (eg following CAT’s) presents wider challenges about economies of scale, coordination, support, skills and resource commitment.
- CSP’s and LA’s are best positioned to coordinate activity locally
- We need to try and test new ways of working that are place based (this year)
- Local Leadership is vital, making sense of things on the ground
- The emphasis on 1×30 mins as key measure has particular resonance with LA’s and health, but we need to package an offer (multi sport and targeted) locally.
- NGBs have a growing recognition of the need to work much better together, but there is a long way to go.
- We all need to use insight and e-marketing/social media techniques to better understand what prospective consumers’ want and to sell our offers more effectively .
- There is a genuine move on Sport Englands part to work with LA`s and this has to be welcomed
- Further national level engagement opportunities to be explored
- Local engagement events rolling out in April 2012 – follow this link to register
- Explore possible transformation projects focusing on ‘place’
- A further core cities event to follow in June
cCLOA will continue to engage with Sport England and influence the development of the Whole Sport Plans. Whilst Plans have to be submitted by May 14th 2012, assessment will continue until after the Olympics. Furthermore there is growing recognition on the part of Sport England for the need to have some flexibility in the Whole Sport Planning process in order to respond quickly to an ever changing environment.
Mark Allman, cCLOA Panel Lead for Sport