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Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you.


It’s important to acknowledge our sector as an important generator of growth and employment and essential for our great industry to have access to high quality data with which to demonstrate its value to governments at all levels, as well as to investors, the media and an ever-growing range of stakeholders who have a shared interest in collaboration towards mutually-held goals.

Coherent data, collected in a consistent, transparent and evidence-based manner is vital to self-critical analysis of areas where we have the opportunity for improvement and also to articulating the complex cases for preferential treatment and investment we need to make.

I’ve recently been invited to become co-chair of Task Force Sport (TF Sport), a highly-specialised group responsible for the harmonisation and development of statistics and data on health-enhancing physical activity, the social dimension of sport and Sport Satellite Accounts in the EU.

This taskforce has been created to support discussion about the ways this harmonisation and development will be implemented, based on existing multi-purpose European data collections, to foster a common understanding and recognition of the less tangible benefits linked with physical activity and sport.

A pool of outstanding experts in economics, physical activity and sports participation surveillance, and social value assessment – from every corner in Europe – will work together, supported by consultants, to identify the current position, establish key work strands for the coming decade and put in place the resources needed to advance them.

Enhancing the robustness of the surveillance of our impact, and better connecting it to a broader policy agenda globally requires collaboration from all actors with a shared interest in advancing this essential industry we all care so much about.

This programme of work is due to start in Q3 this year, and I look forward to seeking and sharing the best ideas from across the world to advance this initiative in the years ahead.

The goal of raising the value and importance of physical activity and exercise in wider society is one that knows no boundaries or no borders – geographic or bureaucratic.

This is a cause to which I’ve dedicated my career as an applied academic – at this time with my base in academic practice at the University of King Juan Carlos in Spain and as chief scientific officer at wellbeing operator, GO Fit.

It’s a cause I’ve also long supported, as the founding principal investigator of the Fitness Industry Association Research Institute in 2010, and now as lead board director of Think Active, the research unit of Europe Active.

As more actors become persuaded of the case to enhance the knowledge ecosystem that any vibrant industry requires, the case for greater collaboration and harmonisation grows stronger.

Global collaboration
In recent times, nations around the world have been developing policies and strategies designed to enhance activity levels among their populations, with monitoring frameworks of varying levels put in place to track progress towards the goals set out.

Often these monitoring frameworks are disconnected from other policy frameworks that exist at a local, national, or international level, making the case for joined-up policymaking or international benchmarking impossible.

We would all gain so much more by having a common framework from which to base our discussions and extrapolate our learnings.

This is a topic of great interest across Europe at a policy level for a range of stakeholders, including the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Director General Education and Culture, Eurostat and the European Commission).

Contact:[email protected]

"The goal of raising the value and importance of physical activity and exercise in society is one that knows no boundary or border – geographic or bureaucratic," – Alfonso Jimenez Think Active, GO Fit Lab and King Juan Carlos University

Quest is getting an update
Sarah Maxwell, Right Directions

What a great piece on the Quest Foundation Review in HCM highlighting Sport England’s work providing insights into live customer service experiences from people who’ve traditionally been excluded from physical activity opportunities (see HCM issue 2 2022, page 72).

We’re evaluating data from the first quarter’s assessments and are excited to share our learnings with the sector.

But this is only one element of Quest. Much work has been going on behind the scenes over the last two years to ensure the continuous improvement tool – which is now more than 20 years old – keeps up-to-date with current issues operators face, particularly due to the pandemic and rising energy costs.

New areas for assessment

Another two new Quest assessments launch on 1 September, focusing on everything from day-to-day operational standards and service delivery, to hot topics such as environmental management.

The environmental module aims to help facilities develop and plan environmental considerations into their operations.

There’s also an exercise referral module, which will enable operators to evaluate their current offering and follow a set of quality operating standards to help drive improvements and consistency in scheme delivery.

The new Quest also covers tackling Inequalities, a module developed alongside the Activity Alliance to help leisure operators offer more inclusive and accessible opportunities for people from inequality groups.

Greater accessibility

Finally, an accessible facilities module will help operators meet their design and operational obligations for different user groups by physically auditing the facility from a user’s perspective. This is done against key inclusive focal points, such as accessible changing rooms, hearing loops and inclusive fitness equipment.

As Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s CEO says, public leisure facilities and services have a vital role to play in providing opportunities for people to be active. These new Quest offers will enable local authorities and their service delivery partners to showcase their safe, welcoming centres and champion the role they can play in tackling inequalities, aiding our environment and reconnecting communities.

By following Quest’s ‘plan, measure, review and impact’ steps for each of the modules undertaken, leisure operators and their teams can not only have the quality of their work recognised and nationally accredited, but may also demonstrate how they measure up against national standards, and why continued and further funding is certain to be money well spent. Right Directions manages Quest on behalf of Sport England

Two new Quest assessments launch on 1 September, focusing on things such as environmental management, exercise referral and inclusivity
The aim is to enable the provision of more inclusive and accessible opportunities / photo: shutterstock/Tinxi
Quest is introducing a new exercise referral module for operators / photo: shutterstock/Frame Stock Footage
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2022 issue 7

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Write to reply

Letters

Write to reply


Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you.

The new taskforce will harmonise and develop data to prove the value of activity Photo: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

It’s important to acknowledge our sector as an important generator of growth and employment and essential for our great industry to have access to high quality data with which to demonstrate its value to governments at all levels, as well as to investors, the media and an ever-growing range of stakeholders who have a shared interest in collaboration towards mutually-held goals.

Coherent data, collected in a consistent, transparent and evidence-based manner is vital to self-critical analysis of areas where we have the opportunity for improvement and also to articulating the complex cases for preferential treatment and investment we need to make.

I’ve recently been invited to become co-chair of Task Force Sport (TF Sport), a highly-specialised group responsible for the harmonisation and development of statistics and data on health-enhancing physical activity, the social dimension of sport and Sport Satellite Accounts in the EU.

This taskforce has been created to support discussion about the ways this harmonisation and development will be implemented, based on existing multi-purpose European data collections, to foster a common understanding and recognition of the less tangible benefits linked with physical activity and sport.

A pool of outstanding experts in economics, physical activity and sports participation surveillance, and social value assessment – from every corner in Europe – will work together, supported by consultants, to identify the current position, establish key work strands for the coming decade and put in place the resources needed to advance them.

Enhancing the robustness of the surveillance of our impact, and better connecting it to a broader policy agenda globally requires collaboration from all actors with a shared interest in advancing this essential industry we all care so much about.

This programme of work is due to start in Q3 this year, and I look forward to seeking and sharing the best ideas from across the world to advance this initiative in the years ahead.

The goal of raising the value and importance of physical activity and exercise in wider society is one that knows no boundaries or no borders – geographic or bureaucratic.

This is a cause to which I’ve dedicated my career as an applied academic – at this time with my base in academic practice at the University of King Juan Carlos in Spain and as chief scientific officer at wellbeing operator, GO Fit.

It’s a cause I’ve also long supported, as the founding principal investigator of the Fitness Industry Association Research Institute in 2010, and now as lead board director of Think Active, the research unit of Europe Active.

As more actors become persuaded of the case to enhance the knowledge ecosystem that any vibrant industry requires, the case for greater collaboration and harmonisation grows stronger.

Global collaboration
In recent times, nations around the world have been developing policies and strategies designed to enhance activity levels among their populations, with monitoring frameworks of varying levels put in place to track progress towards the goals set out.

Often these monitoring frameworks are disconnected from other policy frameworks that exist at a local, national, or international level, making the case for joined-up policymaking or international benchmarking impossible.

We would all gain so much more by having a common framework from which to base our discussions and extrapolate our learnings.

This is a topic of great interest across Europe at a policy level for a range of stakeholders, including the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Director General Education and Culture, Eurostat and the European Commission).

Contact:[email protected]

"The goal of raising the value and importance of physical activity and exercise in society is one that knows no boundary or border – geographic or bureaucratic," – Alfonso Jimenez Think Active, GO Fit Lab and King Juan Carlos University

Quest is getting an update
Sarah Maxwell, Right Directions

What a great piece on the Quest Foundation Review in HCM highlighting Sport England’s work providing insights into live customer service experiences from people who’ve traditionally been excluded from physical activity opportunities (see HCM issue 2 2022, page 72).

We’re evaluating data from the first quarter’s assessments and are excited to share our learnings with the sector.

But this is only one element of Quest. Much work has been going on behind the scenes over the last two years to ensure the continuous improvement tool – which is now more than 20 years old – keeps up-to-date with current issues operators face, particularly due to the pandemic and rising energy costs.

New areas for assessment

Another two new Quest assessments launch on 1 September, focusing on everything from day-to-day operational standards and service delivery, to hot topics such as environmental management.

The environmental module aims to help facilities develop and plan environmental considerations into their operations.

There’s also an exercise referral module, which will enable operators to evaluate their current offering and follow a set of quality operating standards to help drive improvements and consistency in scheme delivery.

The new Quest also covers tackling Inequalities, a module developed alongside the Activity Alliance to help leisure operators offer more inclusive and accessible opportunities for people from inequality groups.

Greater accessibility

Finally, an accessible facilities module will help operators meet their design and operational obligations for different user groups by physically auditing the facility from a user’s perspective. This is done against key inclusive focal points, such as accessible changing rooms, hearing loops and inclusive fitness equipment.

As Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s CEO says, public leisure facilities and services have a vital role to play in providing opportunities for people to be active. These new Quest offers will enable local authorities and their service delivery partners to showcase their safe, welcoming centres and champion the role they can play in tackling inequalities, aiding our environment and reconnecting communities.

By following Quest’s ‘plan, measure, review and impact’ steps for each of the modules undertaken, leisure operators and their teams can not only have the quality of their work recognised and nationally accredited, but may also demonstrate how they measure up against national standards, and why continued and further funding is certain to be money well spent. Right Directions manages Quest on behalf of Sport England

Two new Quest assessments launch on 1 September, focusing on things such as environmental management, exercise referral and inclusivity
The aim is to enable the provision of more inclusive and accessible opportunities / photo: shutterstock/Tinxi
Quest is introducing a new exercise referral module for operators / photo: shutterstock/Frame Stock Footage

Originally published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 7

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