With preparations for the London Sport Awards 2020 in full swing, we take a moment to reflect on 2019 and how we have made further steps forward to achieving our aspiration of making London the most active city in the world. The past year has seen many highlights including:
Inaugural Wellness Week
To begin, we look at a Week of Wellness that swept across House of Sport in February filled with doggy de-stress, nutrition workshops, mental health-boosting runs and intellectual wellbeing interspersed with socialising and fun. The jam-packed week covered all aspects of health; a great start to the year.
The biggest Awards yet
Months of preparation led to the biggest celebration of grassroots physical activity and sport in the capital; the glitzy ceremony of the London Sport Awards. Hosted by Jessica Creighton at Twickenham stadium, inspiration filled the room as the audience heard from motivational speakers such as Danny Bent and Beth Towle and congratulated our stars of the show; the London Sport Awards winners. Held in March, the event was an amazing reflection of our grassroots sport and physical activity champions.
London becomes the capital of European SportTech
Released on the 25 April, the first-ever SportTech report put London on the map as the dominating figure on the SportTech scene. The report, co-authored by SportTechX and London Sport, showcases how the development in technology has the power to increase physical activity levels.
The challenge of a lifetime
Forty thousand people flooded London’s streets on 28 April for the 39th Virgin Money London Marathon; five of whom represented London Sport. The runners successfully took on the challenge of a lifetime and, after enduring months of training and collecting sponsorship from friends, family and colleagues, it was all made worthwhile. In total, the group raised more than £10,000 which will help our work in boosting the activity levels of deaf and disabled Londoners.
New Chair of London Sport
On 2 July, the Global Head of the Digital Transformation Practice at Atos, Jillian Moore joined London Sport as its second permanent Chair. Moore was particularly impressed by London Sport’s leadership in digital innovation for grassroots physical activity; an area which offers vast opportunities for future sport in the capital. Her knowledge and expertise will prove to be enormously valuable to London Sport in the years to come.
Connect. Debate. Inspire
Following shortly after, on 9 July, the London Sport Connect Series launched. A bi-monthly event series to explore the connection between physical activity and sport with the most urgent issues facing the decision-makers in London. The first event focused on how the sector can have a positive impact on Serious Youth Violence. The audience heard from several inspiring speakers sharing their perceptions on the matter. The event highlighted the need to work closely alongside young people and provide them with a safe space in the capital.
The success of London Sport’s Consultancy Hub
At the beginning of August, support from the London Sport Consultancy saw a primary school in Thornton Heath successfully secured over £135,000 to fund a new all-weather multi-sports facility. Through primary research, our Consultancy services made a case of the social and physical benefits the facility would provide to the area and developed business plans to build the successful funding bid.
Happy Anniversary House of Sport
August also marked the second anniversary of House of Sport; the home to the capital’s grassroots sport and physical activity sector. House of Sport is a pioneering project from London Sport to build a collaborative community of like-minded organisations with the overall goal of making London an active city and it continues to go from strength to strength.
The triple threat of September
On the 11 September came the fourth edition of the London Sport’s flagship physical activity and sport conference, Active London, this year supported by the Mayor of London. The event explored the ways that innovation is changing physical activity as delegates discovered innovation-in-practice across a range of projects and initiatives covering technology, insight and communities.
Our SportTech revolution continued as the third cohort of Sport Tech Hub start-ups were revealed at the event at 30 Euston Square. The focus of the successful businesses, drawn from nearly 100 applications, included Active Health, Urban Living, Children and Young People, and the Reimagining of Physical Activity.
The London Sport 2018/19 Impact Report was also released on the day of Active London. Highlights of the report included 7,000 people signing up to our digital marketing pilot for behaviour change support and 125 organisations attending collaborative working sessions at London Sport Community of Practice events. Also, over the past year, London Sport has distributed nearly £500,000 of grant funding to community sports groups.
Active Citizens Worldwide
Active Citizens Worldwide (ACW) is a global initiative established to help cities across the world, including Auckland, London, Singapore and Stockholm, to achieve a step-change in their citizens' physical activity levels. The release of second ACW annual report showed that physical activity is directly contributing to healthcare savings, happiness, and mental wellbeing within London and across the world as increasing activity levels contributed to £835m in annual healthcare savings across ten disease groups.
The second Connect Series
November’s Connect Series audience heard from a range of experts from planning, property and sport to highlight the challenges and opportunities facing physical activity in the urban environment and the future of an active capital’s built environment. The audience heard how activity needs to be at the forefront of the developer’s thinking from the very outset of design when it comes to the evolution of London.
We’re award winners
On 18 November, London Sport was proud to receive the London Healthy Workplace Award led by the Mayor of London and supported by Public Health England. The award commemorated the continued efforts of London Sport to achieve a healthier, happier and more productive workplace especially highlighting the Best Place To Work group, the great range of activities available for employees and the recognition programme.
In the New Year, it’s our turn to recognise some of the incredible work by partners and others in all 33 boroughs of the capital as we host the fifth annual London Sport Awards. Find out more about the ten Award categories and their respective criteria here.