Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) have called on organisations to pledge their support to digital innovation in the sport and physical activity sector.
A ComRes survey commissioned by Sport England revealed that people find it twice as easy to order takeaway food online than to book a sport or fitness class. With consumers increasingly using online services as a regular part of their life, opening data will give consumers greater access to sport online in a way that best fits their lives.
Not being able to easily plan and book online potentially puts many people off doing more physical activity. By opening up data we can remove barriers to taking part, make it much easier for people to get active and promote much needed digital innovation.
Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society
As part of our Everyday Active campaign, Active Kent & Medway is committed to making information about activities easier to access, so that more people across Kent and Medway become more active. We’re proud to sign the Active Digital pledge to affirm this commitment. No one can do it all alone, but by working together our sector can leverage the power of data and digital innovation to help break down the barriers that make it harder for people to live active lives.
This is a real tipping point moment. Now is the time for the whole sector to collaborate to reach millions more people, remove the barriers they face and supercharge the number of people getting active in England for the health of our nation.
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England Chief Executive
We have been talking to our partners in sport, leisure, health and local authorities to raise the profile of open data across the county. Several leisure providers have already made the move to open their opportunity data and we are supporting several others in working towards doing the same. Our website activity finder is displaying sessions that have been published as open data, and we have worked with Active Swale to use this tool to provide a local offer. We are continuing to explore ways we can improve this facility, to provide easier access for all to information about the fantastic opportunities on offer in the county.
How you can get involved
We’d like to encourage organisations across Kent and Medway to join us and sign up to the Active Digital pledge.
Open Active is community-led initiative with the ambition to help people in England get active using open data. The initiative is stewarded by the Open Data Institute (ODI), supported by Sport England, and formed by organisations and engaged individuals working within the sport and physical activity sector. To date they have seen 27 organisations (including Active Life in Canterbury, and Fusion Lifestyle in the Tunbridge Wells district) – publish their data, resulting in more than 170,000 physical activity sessions a month being made available online.
If you’d like to find out more about open data then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to find out how we can support your organisation to embrace the opportunities that open data and digital innovation provide.