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"It's not about participation numbers, it's about the outcome those numbers drive" - says Tim Hollingsworth OBE

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"It's not about participation numbers, it's about the outcome those numbers drive" - says Tim Hollingsworth OBE

An active nation is the key to getting more people playing sport, Tim Hollingsworth OBE, CEO at Sport England has told the latest episode of the Talking Sport & Tech podcast from Sport Tech Hub. 


Hollingsworth has overseen the publication of Sport England’s ‘Uniting the Movement’ strategy which focuses on helping grassroots sport and physical activity recover from the effects of the pandemic, and address the challenges of the next decade. 

Speaking on the importance of getting the nation active, he said: 

“We’ve understood how important it is for people to have the right to be active. We’ve historically believed that getting people playing more sport is the answer to an active nation – I actually believe the opposite is true, an active nation is the answer to getting more people into sport.” 

"We’ve moved away from the rather narrow view that it’s all about the participation numbers. It’s not. It's about the outcomes that those numbers drive.”  

With the tenth anniversary of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games on the horizon, many in the sector have been reflecting on the long-term impact the Games have had. 

Hollingsworth, who was Chief Executive at the British Paralympic Association at the time, described the London 2012 Games as “the most profound thing that ever happened in our sector”. - and possibly ever will happen.”  

The head of Sport England is the sixth and final guest to appear on the first series of Talking Sport & Tech from Sport Tech Hub, powered by London Sport.

With London Sport and Sport England’s shared aim to tackle inequalities across the sector, it was no surprise to hear Hollingsworth discuss the barriers facing Londoners with host Alex Zurita.

He added: “There are a number of very stubborn inequalities that need to be tackled in a different way."

“There are barriers to entry that are societal, that people find there is a very unwelcoming environment that causes them not to want to engage.” 

“It’s our job to make sure our sector does not create those barriers, and the best way to do that is to work together to understand the challenges.” 

“The most important thing is that we understand any experience we create has to be safe, welcoming, inclusive, enjoyable and if we can do that, we’ll know that we actually keep people engaged.” 

You can listen to Tim’s episode on Talking Sport & Tech on Acast, Amazon Music, Apple and Spotify now.

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London Sport aims to ensure Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity

About London Sport

London Sport aims to ensure more Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity. Supported by the Mayor of London and Sport England, our target is to get Londoners more physically active.

For more information on London Sport, visit www.londonsport.org

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