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Tuesday 25 June 2019
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06 Jun 2019
Huw Edwards: 'We need a cultural shift across government'

Huw Edwards, acting CEO of ukactive, has called for a "cultural shift" across government, in order for it to recognise the crucial role that the physical activity sector can play in improving the nation's health.

Edwards, giving the opening speech at today's Active Uprising conference in Manchester, said the sector's partnership with government needs to go "beyond" its current state and for all government departments to acknowledge the sector's as an important partner – rather than just an "afterthought".

"Our sector’s partnership with government and its institutions has to go beyond a signed Memorandum of Understanding, investment and a set of agreed objectives.

"This requires a cultural shift across government and its agencies to show how it values our sector and wants to work with us.

"It has the opportunity to draw much better on our expertise and experience to address some of the major challenges we face, and see us as an instinctive solution, rather than an afterthought.

"Although progress has been made, regrettably in Whitehall there are still too many of the same people discussing the same issues, leading to the same outcomes and sadly the same lack of change.

"Progress is being made in pockets, as demonstrated by our recent engagement with government on reviving our ailing high streets, with an agreement from the sports minister to meet with CEOs from our sector very soon.

"But this must be the norm rather than the exception. This is about changing the conversation so that Government and its agencies turn to us for solutions, for engagement, for answers."

"They must have that trust that we will deliver when called upon."

Edwards also pointed out how efforts to get the population more active are working – further proof that the sector can play a crucial role in easing the burden on the NHS.

"Our sector continues to grow and dominate the physical activity landscape," Edwards said.

"The latest figures show our sector is now estimated to be worth in excess of £5bn and the total number of gym memberships in the UK has broken the 10 million mark.

"Furthermore, the latest Active Lives Survey from Sport England shows that last year more than half a million more people were active through gym sessions and fitness classes than in 2017.

"Our own, latest Moving Communities report shows continued growth in female participation, with women now representing 54 per cent of all memberships in public leisure facilities."

The Active Uprising event is taking place in Manchester today.

The event will this year feature five strands: Challenging the Mindset, ukactive Kids, ActiveLab, Sweat, and Empowering the Workforce.

Consisting of keynote talks, workshops and parallel sessions, the event aims to set the agenda for the next five years of sector growth, with a focus on knowledge sharing that empowers every organisation to achieve its ambitions.

A new addition for this year, Challenging the Mindset will address some of the biggest challenges the sector faces today, such as facility development and widening participation, in order to foster a truly active community.

Elsewhere, the ActiveLab strand will again showcase some of the hottest new tech start-ups in physical activity; while ukactive Kids will explore family-focused engagement and coaching communities.

The boutique fitness market will be explored in the Sweat strand, while Empowering the Workforce will explore how organisations can unlock the potential of their frontline staff.


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25 Jun 2019
Inland water fatalities on the increase – one in ten admit nearly drowning
The number of drownings in the UK's inland waters has risen in the last year.
25 Jun 2019
National School Sport Week: two in three parents have no idea of recommended activity levels
Research by YouGov has shown 68 per cent of UK adults to be unaware of the fact that children should take part in 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
24 Jun 2019
Italy's Milan-Cortina bid wins vote to host 2026 winter Olympics
Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo will host the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics – the 25th edition of the Games.
24 Jun 2019
Plans revealed for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games stadium
Conceptual designs have been revealed for Birmingham's Alexander Stadium, set to transform the athletics stadium into the main stadium of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
21 Jun 2019
Wellness Tourism Association introduces new "WTA Annual Award"
There was business as well as wellness on the agenda as the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) held its second annual membership meeting at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, US, from 29-30 May. One priority? The introduction of the WTA Annual Award (WTAAA).
20 Jun 2019
Wimbledon tennis championship creates virtual Andy Murray fan experience
Tennis fans visiting this year's Wimbledon championships will be offered an opportunity to practise on Centre Court alongside Andy Murray – in virtual reality.
16 Jun 2019
The future of medical spas explored in first-ever Swiss Medical Spa & Hospitality Think Tank
The EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (SSTH) hosted the first Swiss Medical Spa & Hospitality Think Tank on 6 June 2019 in Chur-Passugg, Switzerland.
14 Jun 2019
Networking, knowledge-sharing: 12th annual Forum HOTel&SPA deemed a success
The 12th annual Forum HOTel&SPA was held on 23 May at the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris, with a theme of ‘Multidiversity in Wellness’.
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Diary dates
25-27 Jun 2019
BALPPA Summer Conference 2019
The Balmer Lawn Hotel and Carey’s Manor Hotel
New Forest
United Kingdom
26-27 Jun 2019
Major Events International Summit
Villa Park
Birmingham
United Kingdom
27-30 Jun 2019
SHINE
Anaheim Marriott
Anaheim
United States
28-29 Jun 2019
Les Mills Live
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim
United States
30 Jun - 10 Jul 2019
UNESCO World Heritage Committee
tbc
Baku
Azerbaijan
04 Jul 2019
National Hotel Marketing Conference
Hilton at St George's Park
Burton-on-Trent
United Kingdom
06-07 Jul 2019
In Your Element Festival
Monte-Carlo
Monaco
08 Jul 2019
Salon Life Beauty Convention
ILEC Conference Centre
London
United Kingdom
15-17 Jul 2019
IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers
tbc
Manila
Philippines
18-20 Jul 2019
Indonesia International Amusement & Leisure Expo (IIALE 2019)
Jakarta International Expo
Jakarta
Indonesia
23-25 Jul 2019
National Sports Convention (NSC)
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Melbourne
Australia
25-26 Jul 2019
Fitness Industry Technology Summit
Dockside
Sydney
Australia
04-06 Aug 2019
American Spa CBD Summit
Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center
Denver
United States
06-08 Aug 2019
IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers
tbc
Sao Paulo
Brazil
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