Sports Development Plans
Leisure facilities, indoor or outdoor, are not ends in themsleves. They are meant to enable more people to participate and get more out of their chosen activity. For example, a swimming pool exists to enable people to learn skill which is, literally, a life saver and which can open the door to fun, competition and a healthy activity for life.
So facilities should naturally fall out of sports development plans, not the other way around.
We have worked with a variety of clubs, governing bodies and local authorities on the production of development plans. Our work has included: –
Five Olympic Boroughs
Our highest profile plans were for the highest profile event on the planet. As part of London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games we were commissioned by London’s five “Olympic Boroughs” (Hackney, Waltham Forest, Greenwich, Tower Hamlets and Newham) to draft a sports development plan to set out how the proposed facilities and associated coaching programmes would benefit local residents.
Our plan formed part of the suite of documents submitted to the International Olympic Committee – the rest is history.
Hutton Cricket Club
We worked with this thriving cricket club in mid-Essex to help put together a long term development plan. This included the successful introduction of women and girls cricket, the acqusition and refrubishment of a second ground in Mountnessing and the redevelopment of their pavilion. The plan was central to a Sport England Olympic Legacy grant of £50,000.
The Ocean Estate was a deprived area in Mile End, east London. We worked with local residents, LB Tower Hamlets and the New Deal for Communities agency to integrate the development of sport and physical activity into the wider improvement programme for the area. Specific issues were needed to tackle high levels of type 2 diabetes and the need for women-only swimming sessions.
Our recommendations helped to make the improvement programme a success – Ocean Estate is now a thriving, diverse community which has been celebrated by design awards.
Hythe Town Council
Hythe is a most attractive town which lies on the Kent coast near Folkestone on the edge of Romney Marsh. The town council sets great store on providing good quality sports facilities and they commissioned us to help bring about construction of a new cricket and football pavilion at their South Road Recreation Ground.
We worked with local clubs, Kent Cricket and Kent FA to draft an overall sports development plan. In particular we worked with the local football community on a detailed football development plan including establishing a football liaison committee to oversee progress.
Based on this plan Hythe Town Council was able to secure £500,000 funding from the Football Foundation. The building opened in 2010.
Stafford Borough Council
Over the years we have worked on a number of projects for Stafford Borough Council. One of the largest was to help with a strategic plan to improve junior football access in the borough. This football development plan identified the need for additional 3G junior pitches for competition, training and skills development. We worked with the borough’s sports development team (at that time the best in the county) and Stafford Football Association on the plan. This led to the installation of a new 3G pitch at Rowley Park supported by a £250,000 Football Foundation grant.
Use of the pitch was exceeded expectations with a major benefit being a total elimination of mini-soccer postponements.