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Fit for the Future Convention: Sport and recreation is a good investment - now prove it

  • Date: 30 January 2018
  • Time: 10:00
  • Venue: Holywell Park, Loughborough


The Fit for the Future Convention in association with Howden will focus on the ever challenging funding landscape for sport and recreation. 

The convention will bring the sector together to discuss how you can demonstrate impact to prove that sport and recreation makes a positive contribution to society and is therefore a great investment. 

The convention will get you thinking about your own leadership style and will give you a fresh perspective on funding avenues, how you can access them and how altering your approach to demonstrate your impact will open doors for your organisation. 

The event will include debates, plenaries and SPORT Talks – giving you the chance to learn from your peers and gain inspiration to take back to your team from like minded organisations. 

The Fit for the Future Convention will begin at 10am and close at 5:30pm on the 30 January. There will then be a networking drinks reception and dinner for those who have purchased a Full Convention Package, which also includes accommodation at Burleigh Court Hotel. 




Event Programme 

Welcome from the Alliance 

Session 1: Think smart. Make impact.

Neil Gaught 

There is always one quality which sets a good organisation apart - they have absolute clarity about their purpose. And this reason is never to simply make money.

Neil will get you thinking smart about how you can make an impact by looking at how you can adopt a ‘Single Organising Idea’ approach and more importantly how identifying, defining and aligning with such an idea could effect changes that not only deliver competitive advantage, but benefits to society as well. 

Session 2: Medal Success - so what? 

A debate on how investment in high performance sport can positively impact at a grassroots level – and benefit the entire sector and society. An expert panel will be leading the debate and you will have the opportunity to have your say.

Debate panel: 

  • Dame Katherine Grainger - Chair, UK Sport
  • Kate Richardson-Walsh, OBE - Captain GB Women's Hockey, Gold Medal, Rio 2016
  • Chris Grant - CEO Sported and Sport England Board Member 
  • Karl Brown - Director of Coaching, Warriors Basketball Club

Session 3: How to measure when you're changing lives

We are all aware that sport and recreation can have a huge impact on many aspects of society, but how are you evidencing and celebrating the great work of your organisation? This session will look at how you can put processes in place to effectively measure and demonstrate how you are changing lives and how this can ultimately lead to income generation and access to funding. 


  • Matt Stevenson-Dodd, CEO, Street League
  • Tom Overton, Head of Community Sport, Sport Wales
  • James Allen, Director of Policy, Governance and External Affairs, Sport and Recreation Alliance


There will be four SPORT Talks taking place and you will have the chance to select the two which are most relevant to you.

SPORT Talk 1 - British Cycling & HSBC 
Although corporate sponsorship has been a part of sport for many years, it is undoubtedly a more competitive market than ever. Julie Harrington, CEO, British Cycling, will talk about their partnership with HSBC and the challenges and benefits of securing it. Luke Harper, HSBC, will provide the sponsor perspective sharing what is important to them in developing and then making the most of new relationships.

SPORT Talk 2 - EFDS & Spirit of 2012
Outcome focused investment is often talked about, but how do funders and delivery partners make sure outcomes are properly defined, commissioned and delivered? Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is Spirit of 2012’s largest, £4.5m, investment programme. This session will give you an opportunity to hear from both funder, Ruth Hollis, Director of Policy and Impact, Spirit of 2012 and funding partner, Barry Horne, CEO, EFDS, about successful outcome focused strategic commissioning before discussing what works with participants.

SPORT Talk 3 - Sporting Assets & LTA

Social Investment has been a growth area in a number of sectors over recent years, but to date the sport sector has been a bit of a laggard. In this session Sporting Assets Founder Richard Speak and Lawn Tennis Association Rob Dearing, Head of Tennis Delivery and Innovation, will talk about the work they are doing to change that and the factors sports organisations need to consider to be successful in accessing this type of investment. He will also share news of a new fund offering unsecured loans to the organisations wanting to make a difference through sport before inviting questions from delegates”.

SPORT Talk 4 - Alzheimer's UK & Swim England

By focusing on all the benefits of getting active, organisations may be able to open up new funding sources – particularly when partnering up and working with local communities. Swim England will be sharing how their partnership with Alzheimer’s UK created Dementia Friendly Swimming and received funding from the Department of Health. This initiative involves local authorities and brings together a partnership of adult social care, health trainers, carers and local community groups. Mike Farrar and Jane Nickerson will be sharing some of the challenges they faced and how they are overcoming them.

These 40 minute sessions will provide you with practical examples from a variety of organisations about how they have successfully demonstrated their impact and how this has led to partnerships and funding opportunities. 

Networking Break 

Session 4 - How good do you want to be?

Floyd Woodrow

Floyd Woodrow has spoken on the Ted stage and following on from a period in the UK's elite Special Air Service Regiment. He is now an expert on leadership in the business sector. 

Floyd will discuss the virtues of leadership and how creating a map will help you to identify where you want to be in the future and how to realise your potential- personally and also how to lead your organisation there too. 

Fit for the Future wrap up from the Alliance 
Convention closes 
Drinks and Networking Reception sponsored by Hiscox

Timing and speakers correct at time of publishing. 

Click here to book your ticket 

Full Convention Package tickets are no longer available, but you can still purchase convention only (1 day pass) tickets.

Neil Gaught, Founder, Neil Gaught & Associates Ltd

Neil is an independent strategic advisor with over 25 years of experience working around the world with both not-for-profit and corporate organisations. Neil recently published a book - ‘Core: How a Single Organising Idea Can Change Business for Good’ which focuses on how to deliver practical strategies that profit both business and society simultaneously. Using the concept of a Single Organising Idea, Neil helps organisations to make sure they have a future which is relevant in a fast changing world.  

Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair, UK Sport

Katherine is Britain’s most decorated female Olympic athlete of all time having won medals at five Olympic Games. She serves as an ambassador, patron and board member of various charities and sporting bodies and in 2017 she became Dame Katherine Grainger in the New Year’s Honour List for her services to sport and charity. Speaking about the Fit for the Future Convention Katherine said:

“The Convention will be a fantastic opportunity to explore the important role that high-performance sport can play in getting the nation active and discuss how the sector can work together to tackle the challenges facing sport and recreation.” 

Kate Richardson-Walsh, OBE, Captain GB Women's Hockey, Gold Medal, Rio 2016

Kate was the Captain of the GB and England Women’s hockey teams for 13 years and is the most capped female hockey player in Britain’s history. Kate is as an ambassador for the Women’s Sport Trust, supports disability hockey as an ambassador for Access Sport, and sits on the British and European Olympic Athlete’s Commissions. 

Chris Grant, CEO, Sported

Chris has spent 20 years building a successful consulting practice in the development of organisations and their leadership, covering a broad spectrum of sectors and industries. He is currently the CEO of Sported, one of the UK’s leading sport for development charities.  Having been inspired by the London 2012 bid, he served (and still serves) as a volunteer Trustee of the ‘International Inspiration’ which is keeping London’s promise to use the power of sport for the benefit of young people around the world. 

Karl Brown, Director of Coaching, Warriors Basketball Club

Following on from a successful career as a professional basketball player, which included playing in America, Italy and the UK, Karl turned to coaching and is currently the Director of Coaching for Leicestershire Warriors Basketball Club. Karl has been coaching for over 15 years and within this time held the role of Head Coach for the England under 18’s men basketball team.

During his professional coaching career Karl has been involved in developing coach education and employment projects, including ‘KB in The Community’ which empowers young people in Leicestershire. He has also been awarded the ‘Community Impact Award’ at the Leicester Mercury Sports Awards.

Matt Stevenson-Dodd, CEO, Street League

Matt has a background in youth work, employability, social enterprise and sport based social impact and has held the position of CEO at both Unique Social Enterprise CIC and Young Enterprise North West. He is currently the Chief Executive of Street League changing its direction and driving to diversify the organisations income streams to the point that over 50% comes from delivering public sector contracts with the remaining coming from ever growing commercial support. 

Tom Overton, Head of Community Sport, Sport Wales 

Tom is Head of Community Sport at Sport Wales and leads the organisation's relationship with key partners delivering the Vision for Sport in Wales and has lead responsibility for Governance & Leadership. He is also a Board Director at Welsh Triathlon and a Advisory Board member at Show Racism the Red Card Wales

James Allen, Director of Policy, Governance and External Affairs, Sport and Recreation Alliance

James is the Director of Policy, Governance and External Affairs and leads the Alliance’s public policy, public affairs, research and governance work. He is also a Non-Executive Director at Sport Resolutions, the leading sports dispute and arbitration service in the UK. 

Floyd Woodrow MBE, Owner & CEO, Quantum Group and Chrysalis Worldwide Ltd

Floyd has established an international reputation for developing and delivering leadership training in sports, business, government, police, not-for-profit organisations and schools. 

Following on from a successful military career where he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and an MBE for his work in Iraq and Afghanistan he has established his own consultancy business. He now regularly lectures on leadership around the world and has spoken on the Ted Stage.

Full Fit for the Future Convention package - SOLD OUT

  • Ticket to the Fit for the Future Convention - A full day of content to get you thinking about funding and how your organisation can become fit for the future;  
  • Drinks and networking evening reception;
  • Three course sit down dinner;
  • Accommodation and breakfast at Burleigh Court (4 star hotel on the Loughborough University Campus).


  • Alliance members - £375 (+VAT) 
  • Non alliance member - £475 (+VAT)
  • Corporate - 575 (+VAT)


Fit for the Future Convention only 

  • Ticket to the Fit for the Future Convention (30 Jan) - A full day of content to get you thinking about funding and how your organisation can become fit for the future. 

Alliance member exclusive - £249 (+VAT) 

Get your ticket here


Howden is a sport and recreation specialist insurance broker. A dedicated team of professionals provides assistance to:

  • Over 300 national governing bodies of sport and recreation throughout the United Kingdom;
  • 60,000 voluntary sports clubs;100,000 coaches, teachers and instructors;
  • More than 3,500,000 active participants.

They provide comprehensive protection and economic premiums across a wide range of insurance products and services. Howden are the approved insurance broker to the Sport and Recreation Alliance.


Hiscox is an international specialist insurance and reinsurance company with offices in 14 countries, over 1,600 staff and customers around the world. In the UK, Hiscox use their underwriting expertise gained over the last 100 years to provide not-for-profit organisations, businesses and high net worth clients with insurance that is tailored to suit their individual and often complex insurance needs.

Hiscox is working with Howden to provide specialist insurance to UK sporting associations and clubs, from grassroots to nationwide organisations.

Location and Venue

  • Holywell Park, Loughborough