Creating a participation legacy – lessons from #RWC2015

This is the title of the presentation given by Ben Lowe, Head of Growth, Rugby Football Union at the conference Enterprise and Collaboration – The way forward for community sport and physical activity in London.

RFU logo

 This is a one-day event focusing on how community sports providers can meet the challenges and benefit from new opportunities created by changes in people’s lives, the political landscape and new technology.

It is being held on 8th December at The Podium, ArcelorMittal Orbit, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

RWC 2015 provides the RFU with a once in a generation opportunity to deliver the greatest participation legacy for the game in England for many years beyond.  The focus on building capacity and inspiring participation has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds for several years, across 7 legacy strands.  This encompasses better facilities, investing in people (coaches, refs, volunteers), more schools playing, attracting back lapsed players, recruiting new players through Touch rugby, through wider cultural engagement and broadening rugby’s reach, and through expanding links and impact with other nations.  Many programmes and initiatives have been in play for some time but in many ways the hard work is really now as we aim to convert the interest into long-term participation in clubs and communities.  This presentation will examine some of the results and lessons from this and other areas, with a particular link to how the RFU tries to use insight led approach to provide solutions that meet the changes in people lives, and work with technology.

Ben Lowe has worked for the RFU for 9 months in role as head of rugby growth. The key objective for RFU to grow the game in their clubs and the communities around them, by delivering ‘world leading insight and innovation’ to drive participation.  His background is 15 years in commercial sales, marketing and strategy in a variety of businesses, channels, and segments including for Reckitt Benckiser, Coca Cola, Red Bull and Hasbro.

Leading speakers include Peter Fitzboydon, Chief Executive Officer, London Sport who will be talking about A new context for community sport and James Skinner, Professor of Sport Business, Loughborough, London will cover Developing an Innovation Culture in Sport. Bevis Allen, Boxing Development Officer, London Sport will talk about his experiences with Creating sustainable clubs and Eugene Minogue, Chief Executive, Parkour UK will highlight his thoughts on The sports governing body of the future.           

There will also be case – study presentations from Born Barikor, Chief Executive Officer, Our Parks who will talk about Our Parks – From pipe dream to 15,000 users. Cory Wharton-Malcolm, Chief Executive, TrackMafia will cover TrackMafia – Changing the running track experience. Robby Sukhdeo, Chief Executive, Pavilion Sports and Cafe will cover Pavilion Sports and Cafe – community sports enterprise in action. Nathaniel Cole, Founder/Partner, SwimDemCrew will talk about Creating a community built around swimming and Julie Creffield, Founder, TooFatToRun will tell of her experiences with The F word – the elephant in the room.

Creating a participation legacy – lessons from #RWC2015 is the topic of the presentation from Ben Lowe, Head of Growth, Rugby Football Union and Henrik Brandt, Director, Danish Institute for Sports Studies will finish with a presentation on Enterprise and collaboration in community sport in Denmark.

How do we deliver great, sustainable community sport without compromising your sporting and community objectives? How do we provide great customer experiences and grow participation whilst at the same time meeting the strategic objectives of external partners and funders, whether they are from within sport or from health, regeneration or community services? How do we engage the local community and promote community leadership and play our part of the fabric of our local communities? How do we develop and deliver an innovative range of sporting opportunities, attracting people of all ages and abilities?

This event focuses on these issues, highlight best practice and provide thoughts, tools and to-dos on how you too can become a sustainable community sports provider.


Delegates will come from community sports clubs, governing bodies of sport, local authorities, community sports trusts at our professional and semi-pro clubs, informal sports providers, community sports enterprises, sports governing bodies, community groups and other community sports providers.

For further information please get in touch. Svend Elkjaer, Sports Marketing Network, 01423 326 660

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