Creating a community built around swimming

This is the title of the presentation given by Nathaniel Cole, Founder/Partner, SwimDemCrew at the conference Enterprise and Collaboration – The way forward for community sport and physical activity in London

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.

Swim Dem is a community built around swimming. Trying to engage and encourage others who would not normally swim, to get into the water. By challenging conventions, we demonstrate to others that the unimaginable is possible.

Swim Dem was founded by Peigh Asante, Nathaniel Cole and Emily Deyn, in the summer of 2013. An offshoot of Run Dem Crew, the three had a keen interest in building a similar community around swimming. The crew would meet every Saturday at different pools around London and invite others who shared a similar interest to come and join them. The Saturday sessions were often followed by food. The social aspect for us is just as important as the swimming itself. Naturally it progressed from being three friends with an idea to a whole community. Using our own experiences from swimming, we were able to facilitate a project that saw group of non-swimmers learn how to swim in just five months. Not only did they learn how to swim, they conquered their fears of open water and compete in a 1 mile swim challenge in Manchester. This gave them the confidence to take part in other sports, such as triathlons. Now we’re continuing to move forward in the same vein and by doing more projects and continue in encourage others that wouldn’t typically swim, to get into the water.

Nathaniel Cole co-founded Swim Dem Crew with two partners back in 2013. He’s had his own fitness journey, where he lost 70 pounds in a bid to pursue a healthier lifestyle. His background is in project management until June this year where he decided to pursue a career in the swimming industry with Swim Dem Crew instead.

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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