The Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Mims Davies MP, and Sport England Chief Executive, Tim Hollingsworth, this morning renewed calls to drive a digital revolution across the physical activity and sport sector.
Backed up by a new public survey, which shows that twice as many people in the UK find it easy to order a takeaway online as to book a sport or fitness class, government and Sport England announced an additional £1.5m National Lottery funding into the Open Data Institute alongside a call to the sector to embrace digital innovation.
Speaking at a breakfast reception to announce the new funding, Mims Davies MP said:
“Sport has an immense power to bring about positive change. It makes people healthier and happier. It helps communities and individuals to thrive.
Open data can be a key enabler here, helping us to remove barriers that people face when they engage with sport.”
In recent years, London has taken a leading role in pioneering new approaches to data and digital innovation in sport, with projects ranging from the development of new tools to help digitise community sport to the creation of a strategic plan to put London at the centre of global SportTech innovation.
Since July 2017 Open Sessions, our digital tool designed to enable community sport providers to make their activities findable and bookable online has seen more than 1600 providers register, covering a broad range of physical activity and sport opportunities in London and across the country.
Today’s announcement comes just days after the publication of SportTechX and London Sport’s publication of the London SportTech Report 2019, which showed investment into SportTech start-ups in London reached almost £100m in 2018.
Tove Okunniwa, London Sport’s Chief Executive, said:
“Our commitment to championing digital and data innovation for physical activity and sport continues to be a central part of our vision of making London the most physically active city in the world.
Today’s announcement from the government and Sport England shows that across the country this work has backing at the highest levels; we look forward to continuing to work with national and local partners to enhance digital opportunities for the future of physical activity and sport.”
The sport sector is being encouraged to state their commitment to data and digital innovation by signing Sport England’s Active Digital Pledge to demonstrate the role and value that data and innovation can play in getting more people active.
More information on the Active Digital Pledge can be found here