Sport Tech Hub is London Sport’s incubator programme for early stage start-ups, and focuses on fostering and accelerating some of the caiptal’s most exciting technology start-ups that work to get people more active. The 2018/19 programme saw 10 new start-ups graduate from the programme, with their products trialled an embedded across a third of London boroughs.
In addition to our on-going support to partners from across London’s physical activity sector, we offer enhanced support through our market-leading Consultancy services. Based around our expertise in Insight, Funding and Technology, our Consultancy Hub provides an avenue to support bespoke project commissions from organisations working across a range of areas including London Local Authorities, State and Private Schools, Leisure Providers and Charities all aimed at helping to enhance the scope and impact of physical activity and sport in London.
We take a collaborative approach to place-based working, offering support to large-scale funded projects including Sport England’s two London-based Local Delivery Pilots, as well as a wider programme of engagement across localities and areas that are exploring targeted physical activity interventions.
Funded by Sport England, our Social Prescribing Workforce Pilot project established and implemented a physical activity training programme for Social Prescribing specialists across three London Boroughs. The project, which will receive a further roll-out throughout 2019 and 2020, is part of a wider focus on supporting the development of a sporting workforce that supports less active Londoners into physical activity.
Launched in 2018, our Digital Behaviour Change programme was established to test whether targeted digital marketing could help to change attitudes towards physical activity among hundreds of Londoners who participate in less than 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Delivered in partnership with Walking for Health, Make Sport Fun and 16 Local Authorities, the pilot programme’s development has seen.
Satellite Clubs is a Sport England funded initiative focused on local clubs designed around the needs of young people. London Sport’s focus has been on developing Satellite Clubs delivering physical activity in the top 50% of most-deprived wards across the capital, building links between school and community sport for young people across London.
I am delighted by the continued successes that London Sport have demonstrated over the past year. Active Partnerships are critical to the successful delivery of Sport England’s ambitions to create an active nation. London Sport’s dedication to tackling the causes of inactivity is playing a vital role in transforming the capital through sport and physical activity. Helping people to live more active lives offers real opportunities for the futures of every Londoner. I want to thank the entire team at London Sport for the difference they are making.—Mike Diaper, Executive Director of Children and Young People, Tackling Inactivity, Sport England
The power of physical activity and sport to change Londoners’ lives was in the spotlight at Twickenham Stadium in March 2019, with eight projects and individuals named winners at the London Sport Awards 2019.
With shortlists announced live on BBC Radio London, marking a media-partnership first for the Awards, the evening drew support from media, businesses, political figures and the whole of the sporting community.
With winners covering all aspects of the physical activity and sport community, from international technology innovation to community cycling, disability equality and social integration, the Awards highlighted the powerful ways that sport is changing London for the better.
I am proud of the way that our work resonates so extensively across the capital, a fact that was brought home to me profoundly at this year’s London Sport Awards where we celebrated a host of incredible projects, initiatives and individuals improving the lives of Londoners through physical activity and sport.—Tove Okunniwa, CEO, London Sport
The publication of the Mayor’s Strategy for Sport and Physical Activity saw a reaffirmation of the Mayor’s commitment to sport in London; I believe that London Sport has an important role to play in helping us to deliver on those commitments. Through our respective visions for sport in London, we share a mutual belief in the power of sport to change Londoners’ lives, and I have been truly encouraged to see associations continuing to be built between City Hall and London Sport. At a time where many Londoners stand to benefit from the enhanced social connections that sport can create, I hope to see our two organisations continuing to work together to make a real change for the people of our great city.—Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement
In order to effectively challenge inactivity at a city-wide scale, we need to better understand the reasons, attitudes and motivations of Londoners who currently fall below the Chief Medical Officer guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week.
In 2018/19, we commissioned a major new research project – a segmentation study to develop a richer understanding of less active Londoners’ mindsets and behaviours. The final research identified seven distinct groups of less active Londoners, each accounting for between 310,000 and 490,000 people individuals across the capital. Through the research findings, we are enhancing the physical activity sector’s ability to identify suitable interventions and programmes to effectively target and combat inactivity.
There are simply other things that this group prefers to do at later stages of life than exercise. They typically recognise that it is important, but no longer see it as urgent. They are also aware that they are no longer able to do as much as they used to, but if instructed by someone in a position of authority – a GP or doctor, perhaps – they would seriously consider increased activity levels.
“I don’t like getting hot and sweaty! Walking the dog is enlightened gentle exercise for me.”
This group may experience a number of wider challenges in their daily lives. They might have financial difficulties, be unemployed, or find themselves trapped in stressful situations that lead to unhealthy behaviours; they may feel alone and without support. This segment of Londoners also reports an above-average level of disability or long-term health condition.
“I’m in debt and can’t currently afford paid activity. If I was offered some free 1-to-1 sessions with someone I trust to get me started, I might then be able to move into a like-minded non-judgemental group to be more active.”
These are some really busy Londoners – and they fit a lot into their lives. In between work and socialising there might be some physical activity. They broadly feel that they’re achieving the right balance across everything.
“There’s two new outdoor gyms within walking distance of where I live. I would love to know how to use them, but I don’t know anyone who could tell me how to use the equipment safely. If there was a scheme that could take you through some of the basic instructions for that, it would be fantastic.”
Many of this group are students who may face rising debt and increased levels of responsibility. There’s a lot of pressure on the shoulders of this group: social pressures, financial pressures and body image for starters. In all these areas, mobile devices offer a blessing and a curse.
“I wish there was a group of people, at my level of fitness, that I could exercise with. I’d need it to be something I enjoy – I don’t think I could take myself along to something I dread every week – and it would have to be affordable and easy to access.”
This group is predominately older and less affluent, and are limited in the amount and type of activity they are able to do due to physical and mental limitations. They typically see being active as a positive thing and feel frustrated that they cannot participate
“Several years ago, when my fitness wasn’t so compromised by health issues, I was referred by my GP to fitness classes tailored to my abilities. More opportunities like that, they cater to different needs and where you can drop in without a referral is what I need. Somewhere to go that I’m not intimidated or embarrassed by an abundance of lycraclad super-fit gym bunnies!”
This group is busy. Whether they’re juggling a challenging work/life balance, trying to fit family time around housework and other responsibilities, or just feeling weighed down by the responsibilities around them, these Londoners are more likely to be time-poor than cash-poor.
“I used to have a very active job and managed to keep fit around it. Now I’m a stay-at-home mum, and I’m always on the go; mentally it’s tiring, and I feel unhealthy too. I prefer pay-as-yougo classes, because I can’t really commit to something weekly, especially when childcare can be hit-and-miss. If there was something I could pay for in advance, but defer payments for missed classes, that would really work for me.”
This group has a yo-yoing relationship with physical activity, but while they’re broadly positive about health and fitness they’re likely to already believe they’re doing enough. Many of this group are in full-time employment while nearly half have children, so finding a work/life balance and activity that can fit in around other priorities is crucial.
“What would get me to do more? Maybe if I was rewarded with cash or with other things for being active. For me, I just really need a bit more motivation.”
Having established the research base in 2018/19, through 2019/20 we will work to support stakeholders in all parts of London’s physical activity industry to explore the ways that this behavioural segmentation can inform new approaches to physical activity.
In July 2018 the Greater London Authority launched the Civic Innovation Challenge (CIC), a competitive process offering an opportunity for start-ups to suggest technological solutions that could tackle some of London’s most pressing problems. London Sport provided support throughout the process from initial shortlisting of the 14 applications in July, through two stages of interviews and selecting a winner and presenting the award to the winning applicant Elemental Software at City Hall in late-September 2018.
London Sport provided insight on application feasibility, sector-based knowledge around levels of innovation of proposed pilots and brought context and challenge to applicant interviews.
Elemental are now using their own social prescribing platform in combination with a community engagement approach, alongside Catalyst Housing Neighbourhood teams, Waterside Medical Centre and the Canal and River Trust. This helps to signpost Southall residents towards opportunities at a hyper-local level, testing the idea that people are more likely to be active in the immediate vicinity of where they live their lives
Ambassador House is a 1960’s office block that has been empty since 2010. It is located in Thornton Heath Town Centre, which is situated in one of the most deprived parts of Croydon Borough. With the unprecedented regeneration underway in Croydon, there had been a desire to improve the physical assets in the locality as well as ‘activate’ the local community to enable more positive activity to take place on site.
London Sport supported with initial scoping, funding applications and initiating meetings with delivery partners in the area during the project development. This led to a successful funding bid for nearly £100,000 of physical improvements, and a £5,000 Active Londoners funding bid for a summer activity programme which saw 120 people attending across its first two ‘open days’.
A strong, fit for purpose physical activity and sport strategy can be a key bedrock to underpin effective work on supporting activity and tackling inactivity in a local area. Recent and ongoing work with Greenwich, Southwark, Lewisham and Tower Hamlets Councils demonstrates the potential of this work.
London Sport have supported with sharing of insight and good practice strategies, facilitation and participation in consultation sessions, broad support on development of strategy action plans and in the case of Tower Hamlets, development of a full strategy through London Sport Consultancy.
Really, really helpful feedback. Great suggestions on the strategic alignment, and we will look at the workforce, technology and disability links to strengthen the strategy and action plan."—Jane Connor, Head of Public Health Development, Public Health and Wellbeing, Royal Borough of Greenwich
We’re here to support communities to take control of their environment and use it to be active in a way that makes sense for them.—Matt Roebuck, Relationship Manager, London Sport
Valence Park, at the centre of some of London’s most deprived and inactive wards, is home to a local archive, library and museum but had only a dilapidated and vandalised playground and a lack of local, accessible and affordable facilities for activity. Local mum and schoolteacher, Lisa Adams, wanted to transform the park, but came up against several issues including lack of council resources, issues with vandalism and lack of knowledge of how to navigate a pathway to regeneration.
London Sport chaired meetings, provided support and knowledge in development of a community-led design process, presented proposals to secure council support, and supported development of funding bids, providing sectoral knowledge and insight. As a result, Community Resources engaged over 500 locals in design, £220,000 was received in grants and the project was featured by BBC London. Political support was received from Margaret Hodge MP and the scheme ultimately resulted in the build of a best-in-class family inclusive sports area. This approach has now become a model for community engagement to be replicated in other areas of the capital.
Since its opening in August 2017, House of Sport has become a hub of collaboration for organisations focused on enhancing the impact of physical activity and sport in London and across the world. At its heart, House of Sport is a co-working space designed to allow the sector to save money and benefit from new opportunities for collaboration. It now houses more than 30 sporting organisations on an on-going basis, while offering meeting and event space to at least the same number again.
Disability Sports Coach and BaseballSoftballUK, the National Governing Body for Baseball and Softball, developed a new and innovative partnership that helped to build new baseball opportunities for disabled people across London. Through connections built in their residence at House of Sport, the two organisations successfully created a long-term partnership which led to new and inclusive baseball activities being delivered throughout the capital.
House of Sport’s Wellness Week, in early 2019, combined resident organisations’ expertise in physical activity and sport with a broader approach to employee wellbeing to share a vision of a workplace supported by substantive wellbeing commitments. Offering all resident employees opportunities to explore wellbeing in the office environment.
Across our organisation, we are committed to developing a diverse workforce that is more reflective of London – the people we exist to serve. The foundation of this work is an organisation-wide commitment to the development of a fully inclusive and respectful workplace culture that focuses on the talent and enthusiasm of our greatest asset; the individuals who, together, deliver our ambitious objectives for physical activity and sport in London.
We recognise that there are immediate developments to be made in our ethnic diversity levels, while we will also focus on developing a stronger gender balance at all levels of our organisations to ensure we become more representative of our city. In doing so, we acknowledge the Board diversity targets outlined in the Sport England-backed Code for Sports Governance and seek to go beyond the requirements outlined.
We readily acknowledge that we have work to do in order to meet these ambitions, but we are committed to taking the right steps now to support our work in the future.
London is a world-leading city, and our vision of making London the most physically active city in the world relies explicitly on us understanding where we are successful, and what we have to learn, from counterparts around the world.
In February, London was announced as one of three Founding Cities in the Active Citizens Worldwide (ACW) initiative; a global response to the challenges faced by cities across the world, providing policymakers with better knowledge and insight to harness the potential of physical activity and sport.
Over 4000 deaths are prevented annually through physical activity across the four member cities
A persistent gender gap exists across all four member cities in levels of physical activity
The past 12 months have seen London Sport make some significant steps forward in our ambition to make London the most physically active city in the world.
In many ways, physical activity and sport have never been higher on the public agenda than today, with significant public and private sector interest in the ways that they can contribute to a stronger London.
With a new Mayoral Sport Strategy now in place for London and a number of issues that we have worked extensively on in recent years – not least SportTech, data and innovation – firmly in the public limelight, we find ourselves at an exciting moment in the organisation’s continued development.
In many ways, physical activity and sport have never been higher on the public agenda than today, with significant public and private sector interest in the ways that they can contribute to a stronger London. I am proud of the way that our work resonates so extensively across the capital, a fact that was brought home to me profoundly at this year’s
London Sport Awards where we celebrated a host of incredible projects, initiatives and individuals improving the lives of Londoners through physical activity and sport.
Our operations continue to deliver strong results with a number of new and progressive initiatives having launched in the past year, including our sector-leading digital marketing work, insight and research, and our engagement with a number of international counterpart cities through the Active Citizens Worldwide initiative.
As well as acknowledging the work of all of our Trustees, our leadership team and our staff, I would like to pay particular tribute to the work of Richard Barker and Shaun Dawson who, over the course of the 2018/19 financial year, have stepped up to cover the vacant Chair role. I’m delighted to welcome Jillian Moore as our new Chair and look forward to working with her as the whole organisation works to make physical activity a cornerstone of London’s prosperity in the years to come.
Having been appointed as Chair of London Sport by the Mayor of London this summer, I am thrilled to lend my support to our vision of making London the most physically active city in the world. In these early days of my tenure, it has been truly exciting to look back on the remarkable evolution of grassroots physical activity and sport in the capital, both in the past year and over recent times.
As an organisation, London Sport is at an exciting time in its development. As the widespread benefits of physical activity for London become clearer and clearer, we are extraordinarily wellpositioned to help improve the lives of Londoners now and in the years to come. In the past year, our key strategic work has continued to flourish, the outcomes of which can be seen across a range of projects and partnerships in every part of the capital, and I would like to acknowledge the dedication of the whole team at London Sport for their ceaseless efforts and dedication.
My confidence in London Sport's standing and its future prospects are reinforced by the strong reputation that the organisation continues to enjoy among its stakeholders; I personally look forward to meeting many of our partners in the coming months - it is the success of such partnerships that will determine the long-term success of both our organisation and our vision for London.
We are extraordinarily well-positioned to help improve the lives of Londoners now and in the years to come
As a Board, we remain grateful for the on-going support of Sport England as our principal funder and the Mayor of London as a key strategic partner; our belief, that the lives of all Londoners can be improved by making London a more active city, is made ever stronger by their continued support.
The next 12 months offers some extraordinarily exciting opportunities for physical activity and sport in London; I am delighted to report that London Sport remains well-positio