Last week, London Sport held the Let’s Move London Forum, an event that saw leaders from national governing bodies and London’s local authorities come together to share learnings and best practices, network, and plan for the future delivery of community sport.
Throughout the day, over 50 delegates participated in workshops facilitating discussions around getting more Londoners active. We’re sharing some key learnings from the Let’s Move London Forum, supported by GameDay.
British Cycling’s City Academies: engaging more children in cycling in east London
Bruce Karsten and Luke Anderson from British Cycling spoke about the City Academics project and their work in getting more people cycling in boroughs in east London. Delegates got a closer look at the London Fields City Hub, a programme that offered free cycling lessons for children in the area.
Understanding your communities
Speaking about understanding the needs of local communities, Luke said “if you’re uncomfortable, you’re probably doing it the right way”, referring to how they made sure they were going to effectively work with these communities and make the programme as accessible and inclusive to young people as possible.
Quality over quantity
A key part of City Academies’ strategy is measuring the quality of interventions over quantity. Bruce quotes one parent who said their child “historically struggled to engage in activity, but since joining the City Hub and finding the love of cycling” they have “noticed a clear change in his behaviour”.
Lewisham Council working with the Lawn Tennis Association
Neville Graham from Lewisham Council presented on their work with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), which has worked to refurbish community tennis facilities and get more people playing tennis.
Highlighting tennis as an accessible sport
Tennis is a sport with wide appeal and an extensive network of courts. Neville highlighted that what we need is quality facilities in parks and open spaces, so people can see tennis being played and view it as an accessible sport.
Lewisham worked with the LTA to create a membership model priced at £35 per annum, where members could book courts several times a week. However, Lewisham takes into consideration that one size doesn’t fit all and has allowed for flexible pricing to ensure more people in their community can access the tennis courts. Seeing the value in this, Lewisham are now exploring if this model can be replicated for other sports in the area.
England Cricket Board collaborates with David Weir Leisure Centre to engage teenage girls in sport
More than 1,000 youngsters in Sutton have been provided with impactful and meaningful cricket experiences thanks to the England Cricket Board’s (ECB) Park Champions programme, supported by London Sport.
London Sport supported the ECB to find a non-traditional cricket space, suitable for their priority audience, at David Weir Leisure Centre an under-utilised leisure facility within Sutton, South London.
Changing the face of cricket
Sabah Hamed from ECB spoke of their mission, saying “we wanted to change the face of cricket, and help more women and girls be active”. The project targeted teen girls who at those key transition points “build or break their affiliation with sport”.
To make cricket more appealing to teenage girls, the ECB promoted the fitness element associated with playing cricket, “to make it appeal to females”.
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