Sports bodies join forces with bounts to explore power of mobile apps on growing participation

London will play host to a new tech initiative designed to demonstrate the power of reward-based smartphone apps in promoting greater levels of participation in sport

Sports bodies join forces with bounts to explore power of mobile apps on growing participation

by Chris Scott

From this month, participants involved in selected projects run by EMDP, London Youth and Access Sport will be given the chance to earn real-life rewards simply for taking part – with project backers hoping to show an increase in the amount of sport played by those involved.

Powered by revolutionary healthy lifestyle company, bounts, the project has been funded by London Sport and the Greater London Authority as part of a wider drive to digitise the sport sector, and encourage physical activity providers to tap into the opportunities presented by apps and other tech innovations.

Richard Croker, Programme Manager, London Sport said:
“Anything that helps encourage Londoners to spend a little more time on sport or exercise is worth exploring, and we believe that technology has a huge role to play in helping to get more people taking part. This project is an exciting opportunity to observe the potential impact of reward-based technology on people’s behaviours, and we look forward to seeing how it can help encourage more Londoners to get active.”

Gordon Donkin, Head of Partnerships, bounts said:
“We have deep experience of using technology to incentivise people to actively engage in exercise through our work with sporting bodies, gym groups and a growing number of local health authorities as well as the hundreds of thousands of consumers who download the app. It is this experience and expertise that gives us the confidence to know that our approach of mixing achieveable, measureable challenges with the chance of gaining real rewards is helping to turn exercise into a healthy habit.”

Jade Moulden, Head of Business Development, EMDP, said:
"Looking at additional ways in which we can integrats technology into physical activity is key to increasing participation and keeping our activity offers relevant. This partnership with London Sport and bounts gives EMDP a fantastic opportunity to see the direct effect of a reward-based technology system on engagement and retention in group exercise. The results we get from this trial will help us better understand what motivates and influences our participants and these important findings will be shared with our partners, member organisations and the wider group exercise industry.”

Kate Anstey, Project Leader, Access Sport, said:
“At Access Sport, we are always looking for creative ways to engage and retain more young people from disadvantaged areas in physical activity and sport. This partnership with bounts and London Sport will help us explore the benefits of using technology and we plan to continue using these methods as ways of increasing activity and sporting habits.”

Initial findings will be presented at London Sport’s Sport 2.0 – The Digital Revolution Continues conference in November, with the final results of the scheme feeding into wider commitments to promote digital developments in grassroots sport in the coming years.