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“Temperature check” helps clarify Alliance of Sport’s future

The Alliance of Sport used its quarterly Steering Group meeting to take an important “temperature check” of our current position and future direction.

With funders and strategic partners from across Government, sport, academia, media, business and the third sector all in attendance, we employed the services of coaching and consultancy specialists Hello Performance to facilitate what turned out to be a fruitful session at the central London offices of DAC Beachcroft.

It was led by Hello Performance’s Marita Price and started with a survey of attendees to gauge their levels of:

  • clarity on the Alliance of Sport’s and Steering Group’s purpose
  • clarity on their own organisation’s role within the Alliance of Sport and the Steering Group
  • clarity on how the Alliance of Sport will measure its success
  • motivation to contribute to the Alliance of Sport’s success

These scores were recorded before and after the meeting, and showed that Steering Group members’ levels of clarity and motivation rose from a cumulative 305.5 to 382 (out of a possible maximum of 490).

The next stage saw attendees complete a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of where the Alliance of Sport currently stands.

Strengths included a solid range of strategic partnerships, a unique model, clear vision and a growing supportive evidence base.

Perceived weaknesses included the changing winds of politics making policy-makers tricky to influence on a consistent basis, as well as resources, difficulty in quantifying outcomes in terms of preventing offending and a perception that the service-user voice is currently not strong enough.

Some of the many opportunities discussed were increasing A-list Ambassadors, funders and supporters, consultancy and governance projects, sponsorship and business engagement, tapping into current affairs to raise profile, use of data to make the case of ROI and further establishing our central position to link policy with practice and use our community to test theoretical principles.

Threats included sources of funding, competition and personal agendas of stakeholders, a reliance of goodwill and potential public resistance (partly driven by right-wing media) to perceived ‘non-punitive’ rehabilitation of offenders through sport.

Next, attendees were asked the question: what does success look like for the Alliance of Sport in 2023? This helped frame both what the organisation might look like, as well as what its impact will be in five years’ time.

We finished with a brainstorming session ahead of the inaugural Alliance of Sport awards event, scheduled for next year, which will celebrate the finest achievements within the sport and crime sector.

The session was extremely useful in giving all those present a clear idea of their roles and responsibilities within the Steering Group and how they could personally contribute to the Alliance of Sport’s future success.

Marita from Hello Performance (pictured left) commented: “The day was about pausing to clarify and re-align the Alliance of Sport’s long-term vision, identify its strengths and weaknesses and what barriers it needs to overcome to achieve its goals.

“Getting the buy-in of the Steering Group’s very diverse members was key to that process. Their ideas were creative, practical and powerful and will have a large impact going forward.”

James Mapstone, Chair of the Alliance of Sport, added: “Thanks to Merita for leading what was a hugely valuable Steering Group meeting with great zest and enthusiasm.

“Some of the themes and ideas that came from the session were massively helpful in informing our future priorities. It was great to see so many new faces and, as ever, I thank all Steering Group members for their time and valuable contributions.”

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