Developing a sustainable social enterprise whilst making massive impact on local communities through football

Kelly Davies MBA Founder and Managing Director, Vi-Ability

One of the great presentations at Sports Marketing Network’s Sustainable Community Sports event on 26th June at Watford FC, Vicarage Road

How community sports providers are meeting the challenges and benefiting from new opportunities created by changes in people’s lives and the economic situation

Real stories and successes to be told, lessons to be learnt and ideas and experiences to be shared

Apart from Kelly Davies confirmed speakers are:

  • Rob Smith, Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust
  • Dennis Robbins/Craig Gilmore, Hunslet Club
  • Adrian Ledbury, Pro Active North London
  • Gordon Clark, Sport Wales
  • Shaun Fox, Legacy Sport (Huddersfield)
  • Mark Hows, Esprit Gymnastics Club (Swindon)
  • Geoff Swain, The Bedford Golf Club
  • Svend Elkjaer, Sports Marketing Network

So whether you are from a community sports trust at our professional and semi-pro clubs, informal sports provider, community sports enterprise, sports governing body, community sports club, community group or other community sports provider, if you want to learn more about best practice on how to develop sustainable community sport, you must attend this event.

VI-ability’s founder is Kelly Davies, an ex-international and Liverpool football player with 36 caps for Wales. While studying for an MBA in the football industries, she came up with the idea for VI-ability: Helping football clubs to become commercially sustainable through training up disengaged young people to turn the clubs’ fortunes around.

Vi-Ability is a social enterprise that delivers a training programme that introduces economically inactive individuals to the commercial management of football clubs, helping them to gain employability and life skills. They now provide support and solutions in a number of areas across both Wales and England:

They have made a huge impact on local communities helping to address social issues such as health, anti-social behaviour, poor educational attainment and unemployment. They have also led the way in getting non-league football clubs to focus on maximizing income and identifying alternative sources of revenue. Ensuring ‘financial sustainability’ is the foundation upon everything they build from.

A particular highlight was being voted the UK Best Social Enterprise Start-Up of The Year in 2011.

Kelly says: “For me, community sport means doing two things: (1) Providing participative sports opportunities for all members of the community regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, ability or social status; and (2) Broadening the scope of that sporting activity to include educative/sport initiatives, social inclusion/cohesion projects and other community related activities.

In my opinion, the two have to go hand in hand and be done in an innovative/ entrepreneurial way for community sport to become financially self-sustainable in the long term, and to be given the opportunity to thrive – something which is of paramount importance to attract interest and get people hooked for life; particularly from those individuals who have historically struggled with motivation towards sports.”

If you want to learn more about this event and how to book a place (places are £95.00), contact Svend Elkjaer on 01423 326 660 or email

This entry was posted in Accessible, Change, Community, Enterprise, Partnerships, Sport. Bookmark the permalink.

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