Trends & Features

Sport England confirms desire to partner with industry

FSPA member companies listened intently as Sport England director, Mike Diaper, speaking at the FSPA/Sport England Information Day on May 21, delivered the words the industry has been waiting a long time to hear: “I can confirm that we [Sport England] see the FSPA [and its member companies] as a long-term partner in programme delivery.”

The FSPA and its members, which include some of the UK’s leading sporting goods and equipment brands, were thrilled with Diaper’s statement and the scope of information provided at the Information Day, which was held at The Warwickshire Golf & Country Club.

The event, arranged for FSPA members to find out more about the Sport England Strategy, Sport Unlimited Scheme and CSP/NGB aims and strategies, with a view to how their companies could possibly work with these delivery partners, was hailed as a vital step in knowledge sharing and outlining how commercial organisations can enhance delivery.

Bill Leach, European sales director at Mitre Sports International, said of the information provided on the day: “To gain such a broad insight into two leading County Sports Partnerships – a partner many of us had limited knowledge on – and how their strategies and aims differ was invaluable. This, coupled with excellent overviews from NGBs, has given us a whole host of information to digest within the next couple of weeks in order to prepare our own strategy for how we could take things forward at the vital event in September.”

Richard Beghin, managing director of Flicx UK Ltd, a new member of the FSPA, spoke of how useful he found the event and how pleased he was to have joined the Sports And Fitness Equipment Association (SAFEA) and gain access to this and other events: “It’s great to be a part of the wider FSPA trade body, and I’m very much looking forward to the exciting opportunities at the September event.”

With the FSPA keen to continue to the next stage by holding a bigger follow-up event in September, where all 49 CSPs and numerous NGBs would attend fully prepared to cement some clear partnerships, Mike Diaper lent his support to such an approach, saying: “Sport England want to progress this relationship not just with words, but real, solid actions.” He went on to say: “I will ensure CSPs are made aware of the value of attending this event and working with the industry,” and described the FSPA’s desire to work with CSPs as: “Knocking on an already open door.”

Liam Burns, FSPA director and business development manager of New Balance (UK) Ltd, thanked all presenters on behalf of the FSPA for their time and effort in what was evidently a most worthwhile and valuable day. He stated: “We look forward to seeing you and many more members at the September event and will be confirming the date very shortly.”

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