Fit for the Future Convention 2022 #EmbracingTechnology

The Welsh Sports Association (WSA) were proud to wave the flag for Wales at the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s flagship learning and training event, the Fit for the Future Convention, at Birmingham’s incredible Millennium Point in early April.

We would like to thank the SRA for their generous hospitality and for organising such an insightful and thought-provoking event, bringing together expert speakers and exhibitors with the aim of helping organisations in the sport and recreation sector to better understand how they can collaborate with digital innovators and tech pioneers, in #EmbracingTechnology and enhancing the products they offer and the services they provide. 

It was fantastic to catch up with our partners Sport:80 and Joymo – and to see so many of our members, from Fencing to Skateboarding, all interested in exploring the latest fascinating technology and how it could have a positive impact on their organisations and associated clubs. 

Sport and Recreation Alliance CEO, Lisa Wainwright MBE, kicked off what was an action-packed day in Birmingham.  

Alex Zurita led the opening keynote session with a presentation on ‘Changing the Game with Technology,’ alongside Good Boost’s Ben Wilkins, Andrew Power from Swim England and Milly Pelmore from the Sport Tech Hub. They discussed how sports tech ventures and social enterprises can work with governing bodies, local authorities and sporting organisations to deliver tech and data-led accessible solutions to the problems we face as a sector, encouraging more people to become and stay active. 

Speakers from Good Boost and Swim England went on to detail their exciting developments on delivering health benefits to people with disabilities and long-term health issues through the #EmbracingTechnology partnership – highlighting the power of technology to make sport and physical activity both more inclusive and accessible.  

Nigel Hill at Sport England led an interesting discussion about the vital role played by innovative and digital solutions ‘Modernising your Strategy in a Digital World’, building a 10-year movement where organisations committed to tackling inequality and levelling up access to sport and physical activity come together #UnitingtheMovement.  

Ollie and Chris from CIMPSA delivered a great session showcasing how organisations, clubs and businesses within the sport and physical activity sector can use digital marketing to engage participants and maximise experience. The presentation discussed how to remain ahead of the curve with great advice for sport and leisure clubs on the Digital Marketing Hub. (You can find out more about the hub here).

It was also wonderful to hear from a panel of four industry tech experts, Richard Brashares (Microsoft), Andy McLellan (Air IT), Jamie Emmitt (Datto) and Chris Pinder (IASME) talking about how they have been collaborating with the sector and the progress they have seen. They shared their top tips on how to manage online risks and maximise the two-way relationship between physical activity and technology, helping you to be ready to adopt innovative ways of working, and ultimately, be able to thrive. At the end of the session there was an interactive Q&A discussion with advice to help organisations keep pace in the advanced world of technology, that aimed to share knowledge and inspiration to those just taking their first steps into the digital sphere to those who wanted to gain greater insight about the latest trends.  

The closing session was led by Ben Wells, Chief Commercial Officer at digital transformation consultancy PTI. Ben spoke about what digital transformation is, why it is necessary, and why it should not scare you. He also provided a practical guide to the role of data in future growth, as well as step-by-step help to redesign commercial models. Learning outcomes included: 

  • A clear definition of what digital transformation is and what it is not and what it could mean for your organisation  
  • A clear explanation of “why data?” – a practical guide to the role of data in your future growth model (clue: it’s not just about selling more tickets)  
  • A practical, step-by-step process to redesigning your commercial model  
  • How to break this down into bite-sized chunks, dovetailing with financial planning, managing risk and existing contractual obligations 

Thank you once again to all the brilliant speakers and exhibitors, and to the Sport and Recreation Alliance for organising the event and hosting us. Please do not hesitate to contact us at the Welsh Sports Association to help you find the best information about how to prepare your organisation for #EmbracingTechnology for the future. 

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