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  • Writer's pictureWhy Sports

Triumph at the Why Sports 2023 - Unlocking the Potential Conference: A Celebration of Collaboration

In a remarkable convergence of minds and a celebration of shared enthusiasm for sports, the Why Sports 2023 Conference emerged as a resounding success, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of sports and recreation.

The conference, which took place on the 25th of October at the prestigious Royal Society of Medicine, brought together an eclectic mix of delegates and speakers representing leading organisations, including central and local government, Sport England, active partnerships network, AoC Sport, CIMSPA, StreetGames, Youth Sport Trust, ukactive, Women In Football, CLOA, Natural England and many industry specialists.


The overarching theme of the conference was the intersection of two crucial strategies shaping the future of sports, leisure, health and well-being in the UK: "Get Active" and "Uniting the Movement." Attendees were afforded the unique opportunity to engage in a collective exchange of ideas, experiences and insights, fostering a collaborative spirit that is essential for the successful implementation of these strategies.


Among the notable figures who graced the stage as keynote speakers and Workshop hosts were Kim Leadbeater MP, Nick Pontefract, Liz Green, Ali Oliver, Matthew Wade, Mark Lawrie, Annie Holden, Dave Bell, Clare Warburton, Shelley Meyern, Julioe Russell and Iain Varah. Each speaker brought a unique perspective to the table, addressing the multifaceted aspects of sports and physical activity from its role in public health to its impact on community engagement and social cohesion.




Kim Leadbeater MP, renowned for her advocacy of community-centric initiatives, delivered an impassioned speech on the power of sports to unite communities and drive positive change. Her words resonated with the audience, emphasising the importance of inclusivity and accessibility and the need to have physical activity at the heart of central government planning.


Nick Pontefract, representing Sport England, provided valuable insights into the strategic vision of the organisation and its commitment to promoting physical activity at every level of society. His address delved into the progress and the initiatives aligned with the Uniting the Movement strategy, once again aiming to encourage participation in greater movement and creating a supportive environment for people of all ages and backgrounds.


Liz Green, speaking on behalf of the Local Government Association, highlighted the pivotal role that local authorities play in fostering a culture of sports and recreation within their communities. Her emphasis on collaboration between local governments and the wider sector underscored the significance of a unified approach to sports development.


A standout moment of the conference was the exceptional presentation delivered by Headline Sponsor Leisure Energy. The innovative solutions presented by Leisure Energy captivated the audience, showcasing the company's commitment to driving advancements in the sports and leisure industry. Their presentation not only highlighted their contributions to the sector but also served as a testament to the role of private entities in shaping the future of sports infrastructure and services.


The conference was not just a platform for high-profile speakers but also a melting pot of ideas and innovations. Workshops and panel discussions provided a space for participants to delve into the practical aspects of implementing the Get Active and Uniting the Movement strategies.


Attendees actively engaged in discussions on how to overcome challenges, leverage resources and maximize the impact of sports initiatives within their respective domains.


As the Why Sports 2023 Conference drew to a close, it left behind a trail of inspiration and a renewed sense of purpose in the pursuit of a healthier, more active, and connected society. The collaborative efforts of delegates and the wealth of insights shared during the conference are poised to shape the future of sports, leisure and physical activity in the UK, with the ripple effects extending far beyond the confines of the conference walls.


The success of the Why Sports 2023 Conference stands as a testament to the collective dedication to fostering positive change through sports and recreation.


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