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Steven Ward, the FIA’s director of public affairs and policy, reports on the FIA’s preparations for the future


he new policy landscape is taking shape. We have had the blood letting of 24 March

when the first £6bn of cuts were announced. We await with bated breath the “emergency budget” on 22 June, which will give an even stronger indication of the coalition government’s direction. The coup de grace will be the comprehensive spending review, which will draw to a close in the autumn. The FIA is working hard to shape

this new landscape for the benefi t of the health and fi tness sector.

The FIA will continue to support the development of the Inclusive Fitness Initiative

lasting legacy We’re working with a clear focus that our industry has the physical venues, staffing ability and capacity to absorb the increase in participation that’s needed to create a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games, and to make an impact on the health of the nation. First, expect the workplace to be

a major focus of the FIA’s activities: 13 July will see the launch of a new initiative focused on the health of NHS employees. This ties closely in with some developmental work that the FIA has been running with Sport England and the Mayor of London, focused on supporting shift workers to play more sport and become physically active. This will be an exciting development

of major benefit to all FIA members, large and small, public and private. Second, with the advent of the

Olympics, expect a much greater emphasis from the FIA on how we can unlock the assets of the industry to create both health and sporting legacies from 2012. We have to understand better

what our facilities can contribute from the heart of every community across the UK. This includes the Paralympics, where we will have to look not just at the continued emphasis on improving the accessibility of our facilities and the suitability of staff training to meet the needs of the disabled community, but also on increasing participation among this group in society. The FIA will launch some developmental

work in this area later in the year and will continue to support the growth of the Inclusive Fitness Initiative, working much more closely with its owner, the English Federation of Disability Sports. Third, expect a reinforced vigour to

our involvement in the Change4Life campaign. We will be encouraging FIA members to adopt the key messages into their own marketing materials, as well as continuing to support sub-brands such as Let’s Dance with Change4Life, Walk4Life and our own MoreActive4Life. Fourth, be ready for some exciting developments around the digitisation of

what we do. It’s a real shame that, while you can book a bed and breakfast in Bognor, Bolton or Barcelona in the blink of an eye using an online booking system, we cannot provide the public with the opportunity to do the same when it comes to sport. Removing barriers and making things easier by introducing and encouraging the adoption of new technology will be crucial to making the best use of our assets and maximising commercial opportunities.

partner up Finally, expect the FIA to develop some exciting strategic partnerships with a greater variety of commercial partners, key government departments, agencies such as the Youth Sports Trust and Sport England, and other key stakeholders, especially national governing bodies and our colleagues across the entire physical activity sector. The trigger has been pulled on

the starting gun – and the FIA was the first out of the gate.

leisureopportunities is the offi cial recruitment magazine of the fi a 20 Read Health Club Management online at july 2010 © cybertrek 2010 edited by tom walker. email: irons in the fi re


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