Sports Think Tank - Topic: The Death Of Sports Development As We Know It

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Sports Think Tank

Sports Think Tank

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The EU Referendum decision to leave the EU is a landmark moment in the political history of the United Kingdom. The consequences of the decision to withdraw will have far reaching consequences for the sector

The Sports Think Tank invites evidence, views and opinion on the matter from stakeholders across the sport sector and beyond.

We are working with Loughborough University Institute of Sport Business and the Sport Industry Group to ensure the voice of Sport is heard and understood in the negotiations with the EU on the terms of withdrawal and what replaces our current membership.

We need the sector to come together and make the case for access to the Single Market and the positive consequences of our membership. We invite examples of impact and what we need to see the Government EU unit preparing their negotiations.

We are working with government through DCMS to gather the thoughts and issues on behalf of the sector. Following initial soundings up to Christmas we hope to do a fuller consultation in the new year with your suport!

PM Statement to Parliament - 27th June 2016

The Prime Minister made the following statement to the House of Commons on Monday 27th June and launched the EU team in the Cabinet Office to oversee the complex negotiations for the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Article 50 and our Withdrawal

Timeline and Article 50

Next few days 24th June onwards

In the European Union, the six founding members of the bloc will meet in Berlin on Saturday 25 2016. There may also be an emergency meeting of finance ministers over the weekend and technical work will begin at the level of officials.

Prime Minister David Cameron will then travel to Brussels next week to meet with EU leaders to discuss the UK situation.
He will not start of the secession process under Article 50 of the EU treaty whilst in post confirming this will be up to the country's next prime minister
However, no serious negotiation can start until Britain decides how it wants to conduct the exit and what arrangements it will request afterwards.

Article 50 and settlement options

Article 50 provides a two-year negotiating period with the departing Member State, but there is a general consensus that this will need to be extended for the UK's departure.

Whilst Vote Leave have suggested a new settlement - including a UK-EU free trade deal - would be possible by May 2020, it is unlikely that two years will be long enough to work out the more complex trading accords and talks are likely to continue several years after officially leaving the EU. There are three broad options talked about:

The Norwegian Model

By staying in the looser European Economic Area, the UK would still have access to the EU's single market and participate in free movement of workers but without any say in how they evolve. The country would still contribute to the EU budget. As reported, banks prefer this model because it would preserve their access to EU customers. New Deal
Negotiating its own free-trade agreement would limit most trade tariffs between the UK and the 27nation bloc. However it could take years to work out the extent of Britain's market access. For example, the EU's trade agreement with Canada took seven years to negotiate and still isn't ratified.

WTO Rules
Trading with the EU under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules would avoid the hassle of setting up a complex new agreement and the country could set its own trade tariffs. However, the UK would have no favorable relationship with the EU or any other country.

Topic: The Death Of Sports Development As We Know It

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Wayne Allsopp said:

1. Posted 02:52pm, Fri 3rd February, 2017

Going out with my mates is a rare treat now days due to family life. However when I do I thoroughly enjoy it and the banter that goes with it. On such occasions it does not take long before the attention is on me and what I do for a living. Some of my so called friends describe my role as putting cones out for a living. Others say it is about filling vending machines and checking lockers. This is the perception from people working outside the sector. These such evenings out always end with me asking myself again what actually is Sports Development and why is it not a recognisable career with a relevant pathway and qualifications. Electricians, Lorry Drivers, Accountants and Logistics are the jobs of some of my mates. All recognisable careers with relevant pathways and qualifications. Why have Sports Development got it so wrong.

With 13 years of working in Leisure Facilities my career seemed to be mapped out and I had a pathway once I decided to try and follow it. Centre Attendant to Centre Supervisor to Duty Manager was the logical career progression for me. However back in 1990 when I started this journey the sector then was confusing in that there did not seem to be a single representative body providing me with the support I needed to progress. ISRM and ILAM both seemed to lay claim to representing the sector. I had reached a bottle neck and the pursuit of a recognised industry qualification was very difficult and something that started to become a barrier for me. I was self-taught and the step to Facility Manager was like the Grand Canyon and there was very little support from my employing body to help me bridge that gap. Ultimately this was the reason I decided that I needed a change.

I had always been interested in Sports Development largely due to my passion for all sport. However trying to make the transition from working in Leisure Centres to Sports Development was easier said than done. Most roles I applied for were asking for a Degree and my A Levels did not quite stack up against this apparently essential criteria. I am not suggesting for one minute that having a Degree does not equip you for the world of Sports Development. What I am suggesting is that it is not essential and it is more important that we understand what skills are required to make a good Sports Development Officer. Thankfully in 2003 a particular organisation believed I had the right skills and values to work in the world of Sports Development.

Stepping out of facilities in to the world of Sport Development opened my eyes further as to how far behind our sector is in terms of recognition as a career. This move from facilities to Sports Development was the start of 14 great years within a career that I knew I really wanted to be involved in and I am still involved in today. It is only now once I knew what I wanted to do that I really started to challenge what is Sports Development and what are the skills required to do this job.

The best definition I have heard of what is Sports Development is

“Sports Development is about providing opportunities for ALL individuals to reach their potential IN and THROUGH SPORT

A deliberate play on ALL. This is what the sector was largely about in terms of providing opportunities for all. IN was a demonstration of those participating in sport and THROUGH was as a demonstration of all those other individuals involved in sport. Clearly the key word was SPORT. Some will ask are we talking about physical activity and gardening. No we are not. In the early days Sport was important for being sport and that is why the vast majority of us working in the sector made it our career of choice. Even today we still debate the sport v physical activity agenda. While there is connectivity these are 2 very different areas that both need Government resource to be effective.

With this short sentence in mind I knew what my role was and more importantly I knew this was the career path for me. What I didn’t know at the time was that there was no career path just a multitude of roads all not sure where they were going.

With no satellite navigation system or even a map I commenced my journey in the field of Sports Development. I was hugely committed to personal development to feed my hunger to progress, but even then I still struggled to find the right support. Scrambling from one job to another to satisfy my appetite for more responsibility I managed to stumble across a Leadership and Management course provided by Leicestershire and Rutland Sport. At last a course and an organisation that understood the support I needed. It is only now after 14 years of learning the trade that I really understand some of the skills required to do the job effectively. Leadership, Management, Political, Organisation, Communication, Influencing, Negotiating, Listening, Change Management and Financial Management are just some of the skills that I have developed over the years. I am sure that given time there would be more that I could add to the list.

These skills don’t seem to come easily available within any such industry recognised qualification. I have relied heavily on informal coaching and mentoring to help me progress.

I still remain undecided about our sectors representative body. (CIMSPA). From the website CIMSPA still seems to be very heavily dominated by what remains of the old guard (ISRM). While Pool Plant Operator and Pool Lifeguard courses are important there is much more to our sector than this. In these times of austerity and with sport being the non-statutory service that it is we are beginning to see new ways of working. Gone are the days of the grey suited Leisure Officer, it is the dawn of a new style of leadership and management and this is something that the sector has needed for a while. Energy, enthusiasm, passion and confidence are within my DNA and these are the qualities that CIMSPA need to harness and focus on to attract likeminded people to the organisation.

I believe CIMSPA are at a point of opportunity and they need to understand this new market of leaders and their ongoing professional development. Again I look on the nations and regions section of their website and the last news entry on the Midlands section was 9th November 2015. The courses available are Level 4 Lower Back Pain, Pre & Post Natal Exercise and Anatomy and Physiology all very important I am sure but do they inspire me to join?

Professionalising the sport sector in the current climate is not easy given the wider remit asked of sport by Government. Sport England are now having to focus on less traditional organisations to get the sedentary active and this is opening the industry up to new deliverers. While I accept that CIMSPA remit is the management of sport and physical activity we are in danger of diluting sport beyond all recognition.

You only have to look at the CIMSPA Professional Development Board to understand the diversity of the remit. Where is the voice for Sports Development?

Slowly but surely we are seeing the death of the traditional Sports Development Officer and only the fittest will survive. Even my current job title of Business Development Manager would lead you to believe that my job is nothing to do with sport. But while I might have to operate under a different title 75% of my work is still dedicated to Sports Development and providing opportunities for all individuals to reach their potential in and through sport.

I no longer fill vending machines, check lockers or put cones out. However I am not ashamed to say that once upon a time I did. This was my education in the industry I love. Learning from the shop floor upwards as taken me a long time, but my journey is a demonstration of how difficult it is to source the right CPD at the right time. I have managed to navigate my way through 8 different job titles within the sport sector and I still have a long way to go. Where next and how will I get there is my latest challenge.

I feel that the times are changing and there is an army of new Leaders and Managers evolving that have stood the test of time. It is now time for our representative body (CIMSPA) to get serious about Sports Development and to really understand the qualities and skills required for the job. The workforce development challenge is immense, but with Andy Reed in the Chair I believe there is hope for all of us that started out in tracksuits and have now found ourselves in the Board Room.

Joe Dunmore said:

2. Posted 03:35pm, Mon 13th February, 2017

Interesting read and I agree with a lot of your points. Having worked in Sport Development for the last 8 years most of my CPD has involved coaching courses, which hasn't really had an impact on my day to day duties. Recently our governing body has been completing a needs analysis, bridging the gap between skills required and current skill levels of employees. This has led to more courses/CPD specific to the role and the individual, which is a move in the right direction but not a pathway/qualification as such.

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