WSA attend insightful and inspiring 2024 BASIS Conference

WSA attend insightful and inspiring 2024 BASIS Conference

Welsh Sports Association (WSA) CEO Andrew Howard was delighted to attend the 2024 BASIS Conference on Tuesday 30 April.

With the WSA being a member of BASIS, Andrew was invited to a members-only roundtable discussion on the Monday afternoon, joining delegates from many GB and English National Governing Bodies.

There were several interesting initiatives and ideas discussed, which will be shared with Members in a BASIS Conference Report and also at the next WSA Sustainability Conference.

Tuesday’s Conference got off to an excellent start with a Leadership & Governance discussion, chaired by BASIS founder and WSA Sports Industry Awards guest judge, Dr Russell Seymour.

The illustrious panel was composed of Dame Katherine Grainger (Chair, UK Sport), Chris Boardman MBE (Chair, Sport England) and Wales’ Sian Joseph (Deputy Director for Sport, DCMS).

Chris Boardman advised that the Sport England Sustainability Strategy was to be launched in two weeks and it would move away from advising and enabling to requiring Sport England-funded partners to act, stating that it was the ‘most progressive strategy for the sector in this area, by a long way…and by 2025 everyone has to have a Plan and doing something with it, as a condition of funding.”

Other discussions included Delivering Radical Change with Dr Graeme Heyes of Litmus Sustainability, who focussed on doughnut economics and a new way of thinking.

Sustainable Transport Solutions again featured Chris Boardman MBE with his Commissioner of Active Travel England hat on. He was joined by Lydia Carrington (Edgbaston Stadium), Mark Epps (ATP Tour) & Ellen Cumber (Department for Transport).

A Biodiversity in Sport discussion followed, with representatives of the RSPB & WWF who both partner with BASIS and value the power of sport in influencing their work.

The Social Transformation Through Sport discussion was chaired by Katie Cross (CEO of Pledgeball) and it was pleasing for WSA member organisation Dragons Rugby to receive a name-check for their good work in this area.

The importance of the sportsperson was highlighted in the Athletes & The Power of Sport panel which featured Melissa Wilson (GB Rower), David Wheeler (Wycombe Wanderers footballer) and Pragnya Mohan (Indian Triathlete). This was chaired by Kate Strong, the Welsh Cyclist, Triathlete & Adventurer.

The final discussions were on Reducing Sport’s Carbon Footprint,  Profit & Purpose In Sport and Sustainable Broadcasting with BBC Sport & Sky Sport.

So, in summary, a very full agenda with some excellent and inspiring content, which will be shared with members in a report and provide the WSA with some further ideas for our next sustainability conference towards the end of the calendar year.

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