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IS CARING OpenActive is a community-led initiative with the ambition of helping people in England get active using open data. Sports Management talked to Allison Savich, Sport England’s strategic lead for data and innovation to find out more

Why did you launch OpenActive?

in this digital age, there are many sectors

need to make an informed choice on the

Something we hear quite often is that

that are making it a lot easier for people to

websites, apps and services that they

people want to get active, but it can be a

find alternatives – such as the transport,

already use, such as Airbnb.

frustrating experience to find accurate and

restaurant and travel sectors. For example,

Sport England’s ultimate aim is to

up-to-date information that helps them

when the travel sector’s data was unlocked

help more people get active. According

decide which activity is right for them –

several years ago, this revolutionised the

to the most recent Active Lives survey,

even just the basics like what the activity

experience for holidaymakers, making it

currently over a quarter of the population

entails, where it’s located and what it costs.

far easier for them to book holidays using

in England are inactive, which means they

sites like

do less than 30 minutes of moderate

This information does exist, but it tends to be hidden away on websites that are

OpenActive aims to do the same for

difficult to use, in disparate social media

the sport and activity sector by ensuring

groups, or printed flyers and brochures.

that gyms, leisure centres and sports clubs

As a sector, we know that physical activity must compete for people’s leisure time. And

keep up with the digital expectations of our consumers by putting the data people

intensity activity each week. We believe OpenActive can help remedy this.

Is this the first time you have tried to solve this problem? No. Our first attempt in 2012 was called Spogo, which was in partnership with ukactive. This aimed to capitalise on the legacy of the 2012 Olympics, but it didn’t achieve this for several reasons. Spogo aimed to create a single website for consumers to find and book physical activity online. But we quickly came to the realisation that the marketing costs

OpenActive aims to help customers find sporting activities


ISSUE 4 2018

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