W ith growing support from the industry, organisers of Elevate have invested this year in creating an inaugural Elevate Conference. Thought leaders will present on subjects from social prescribing and active urban design through to digital disruption and community-wide behaviour change initiatives – with a goal to facilitate bigger picture thinking that can unleash the full power of the physical activity sector as a force for good in society.
In addition to the new two-day conference, this year’s seminar programme continues to develop, and this year will include four streams focusing on: physical activity for health and wellbeing; strategies for an active nation; the business of physical activity; and, performance: maximising potential.
In total, the programme includes 40 free-to-attend seminar sessions with over 230 leading speakers, representing organisations including: Department of Health, GLL, World Health Organisation, NHS England, Sport England, ukactive, Virgin Active, Park Run, DCMS, MacMillan Cancer Research, David Lloyd Clubs, England Athletics, Places for People, ECB and British Gas.
In the strategies for an active nation stream, speakers will examine how the physical activity industry and its wider stakeholders can reach and influence the inactive, exploring how to create opportunities for people to be active in ways that fit with their everyday lives and interests. Kate Dale, strategic lead – campaigns, Sport England will chair a session exploring two examples of how traditional sports have been redesigned to attract and target new audiences and re-engage those who may not have participated for some time.
Kate comments: “I’m really excited to be chairing this session. Those of us who work in the sport sector understand the physical, mental and social benefits that getting active can bring, and hopefully get to experience them first hand. If we want to make sport and physical activity relevant and appealing to those who ‘don’t see it as something for people like them’, we need to try new approaches. Elevate is a great platform for us to have those discussions – learning from others’ mistakes and successes.”
Another session in the strategies for an active nation stream, chaired by Huw Edwards, public affairs director at ukactive, will consider ways of improving inclusivity and driving participation amongst disabled people. Panellists in this discussion include Professor Brett Smith, head of research, School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at University of Birmingham, Adam Blaze, strategic lead disability at Sport England, Phil Lane, head of sport & communities team at GLL and Andy Dalby-Welsh, deputy chief executive at English Federation of Disability Sports. This panel discussion will explore the latest approaches for successfully delivering inclusive interventions, examining how to create the right environments, adaptations of services, removal of barriers, and engagement strategies to and stimulate participation and enjoyment.
Huw comments: “As a sector we must strive to remove the barriers that prevent disabled people from engaging more in physical activity. It is vital that this issue is on the top of our agenda – whether that be through shining the light on the topic at Elevate, or though cross-sector initiatives like the one currently led by ukactive, Sport England, Disability Rights UK and the EFDS to give disabled people better access to physical activity opportunities.”
During both days of Elevate the growing Exhibition takes centre stage and with over 200 leading suppliers showcasing the latest products and innovations designed to help private and public-sector gym operators, local authorities, healthcare professionals, personal trainers, schools, sports clubs and universities get the nation moving more. Exhibitors include Matrix, Clubright, Core Health & Fitness, eGym, Gerflor, Gympass, Jordan Fitness, Power2SMS, Total Gym, Willmott Dixon and Xn Leisure.
Elevate will provide the platform for SWIMTAG to officially launch a series of exciting new challenge features. Kieran Sloyan, managing director at 222 Sports, developers of SWIMTAG, says: “We’re really looking forward to Elevate this year. Last year the show connected us with several new partners, so we’re hoping for a similar level of engagement this year. The platform is the perfect environment for us to showcase our new innovations. This year we will be officially launching our new challenge features that will enable operators to organise internet-based team Battles across multiple locations.”
Total Gym will be showcasing its range of adaptable gym equipment for the first time in the UK, while SportsArt will introduce two new models to its ECO-POWER™ and ECO-NATURAL lines including VERDE, the only energy-producing treadmill in the industry, and the new N685 non-motorized, completely self-powered treadmill which allows walking, jogging, running, sprinting or sled-pushing.
Matrix will help gyms to take HIIT to the next level with its S-Force Performance Trainer, which combines a specifically designed motion and magnetic resistance system to automatically increase the intensity, the harder the user trains.
A popular addition to last year’s show, the Elevate Innovation Awards return in 2018, recognising the best products and services in defined categories, linking to the show’s themes of inclusivity, performance, health and wellbeing and business. Judged by a panel of industry experts, the five categories are: Best Health and Wellness Innovation, Best Workout Innovation, Best Facility Innovation, Best Innovation for Human Performance and Best Start-up.
Commenting on the show’s huge success in its first two years, Max Quittenton, founder and director of Elevate, says: “We’re incredibly proud of the support and contributions that so many passionate and knowledgeable professionals make to Elevate each year.
“For all the right reasons, tackling physical inactivity remains the shared goal of all those involved. Put simply, Elevate 2018 is unrivalled as the best opportunity of the year to learn more about the whole subject of physical activity.
“All the latest innovations and products are under one roof. The free-to-attend information programme, networking opportunities and unrivalled collection of leading exhibitors all help make Elevate the must attend event for thousands of industry professionals. We look forward to seeing you all at ExCeL London this May.”