Technology and Sport

Technology is playing a part in encouraging participation in a way it never has before, and every indication is that its influence will continue to grow, with more than 50,000 health, fitness and physical activity apps now available.

Fitbit is now estimated to be worth $4bn worldwide and Strava is gaining 100,000 new members globally each week and logged more than 520 million kilometres of cycling in the UK alone last year. Given the changing ways in which people consume sport and the continued rise of online social interaction, we need to ensure that sport is able to react these changes and can provide consumers with what they want, in the way they want it. New technology is not a complete solution, but it is a vital means by which participation can be encouraged.

It can help identify opportunities to take part, link up players with teams, monitor individual progress, share success with friends and set new goals and challenges to aim for. We should remember, however, that access to technology varies signifcantly between groups so, like sport, technology also needs to be made more accessible.

Sport is also enormously data-rich, and there is potential to harness this data in a way that helps consumers directly, but that can also help build further insight and understanding on how people participate and why. Government is interested to know what sources of data sports bodies (both public and private sector) have that, if made publicly available, could help the sector to develop or help to enable more people to take part.

Page content from A New Strategy for Sport: Consultation Paper.