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The first step to sporting participation

IAN TAYLOR is chief executive at Skills Active

Pathways must improve for H&F industry

Is the health and fitness industry industry fully-qualified to deliver professional advice and guidance? Tat was the question as SIBEC

UK 2014 got underway with a panel discussion – chaired by ukactive CEO David Stalker – with a selection of industry figures offering views. Te four-person panel comprised


here are many reasons why peo- ple participate in sport and active leisure, and there is an enormous amount of hard evidence dem-

onstrating the benefits to the well-being of the individual and also to the nation. It is now incumbent on all stakehold-

ers to drive a unified message by working collaboratively in partnerships to not only deliver the message but also to achieve pos- itive outcomes of more physical activity. Some of the work that SkillsActive does

is identifying and developing the work- force to be able to deliver physical activity to all age groups in a variety of facilities and locations. For example, as National Partner for Workforce Development for Sport England, we have clearly demon- strated that for every £1 that is invested into workforce development we are able to deliver a total of £23 of return. Te Professional Development team

here at SkillsActive continue to provide the best possible service to our training providers and employers. It is essential we offer them ‘added value’ as part of our retention strategy. In doing so, partner- ships such as our Active Advantage service for training providers can reduce business costs. For employers we offer a service for them to partner with endorsed Lead Providers, ensuring they buy with confi- dence and get the best possible price. Another partnership is with the

Association of Colleges where we are delivering the ‘College Sport Training and Development Programmes’. Of course we also work in partnerships with a large number of Employer groups such as the Outdoor Employers Group or the Sport and Fitness Employers group to focus on where we can add value, and ensure that they can recruit, retain and up skill the workforce. With around 101,000 employers in our sectors this creates many challenges, but excitingly also the opportunity to influence change and cre- ate positive outcomes for delivery in the Sports and Physical Activity Sectors.


of Rachel Gomm, Birmingham City Council Sport and Events business development manager; Michelle Dand, Everyone Active group fit- ness development manager; Tom Fairey, Alliance Leisure Services business development manager; and Stuart Lockwood, head of Oldham Community Leisure Trust. Stalker began the discussion by saying the

SIBEC UK 2014 took place at Te Belfry golf course

reallocation of public health responsibility to local authorities (under the 2013 Social Care Bill) meant the health and fitness industry now had the opportunity to provide solutions for a sector worth £8bn. Yet, he said, two thirds of health and fitness industry managers hold the minimum level of qualifications required to do their job. Gomm noted the importance of building relationships and knowledge exchanges with public health bodies – partic- ularly with GPs in order to establish exercise

referrals for conditions such as heart disease. Dand, meanwhile, pointed out that

Everyone Active’s new sister organisation – Everyone Health – demonstrated the industry was already making moves to engage with this new market. “But while it’s possible for highly- trained fitness motivators to work across both the health and leisure sectors, less experienced staff currently lack the training required to be able to deal with subsequent challenges, such as working with mental health patients,” added Dand. Details:

Heritage Alliance backs indie fundraisers

Te Heritage Alliance has launched a new training scheme, designed to provide the skills and confidence necessary for independent heri- tage sites to secure greater success in accessing funding from both pri- vate and corporate sources. Working alongside the Institute

of Fundraising (IOF), Te Heritage Alliance’s Giving to Heritage pro- gramme is a two year scheme – backed as part of a £3m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Catalyst ini- tiative – which launched its new website today (Friday). It will offer around 8,500 learning opportunities to heritage fundraisers, which are accessible across the country at a “fraction of the original cost”. Te training courses – part-subsidised by

Te training will teach the art of effective fundraising

sessions, mentoring pairings and webinars. Participants will also enjoy access to the IOF’s Continuous Professional Development system for three months prior to the course. Attendees are encouraged to arrive with

the HLF – are valued at £300 per head for the 15-person seminars, but will only cost par- ticipants £20 to take part in them. 99 workshops, starting in London on

3 June, will cover 13 topics on day-long events led by an IOF fundraiser in addi- tion to a number of one-to-one surgery

Read Leisure Opportunities online:

a project in mind for fundraising and then develop a fundraising plan and case for sup- port, with post-course projects also being added to the Heritage Funding Directory. Mark Webb, project officer for Giving to Heritage said alternative fundraising is essential for the sector. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014

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