KKP

NEWS RELEASE: EFL Day of Action highlights research findings and celebrates impact of football on local communities

ISSUE DATE: 10 March 2020

 

EFL Day of Action highlights research findings and celebrates impact of football on local communities

KKP analysis demonstrates scale and value of club/CCO impact

 

The EFL will be celebrating the positive impact of professional football clubs on their local communities today (Tuesday 10 March) following the publication of research carried out by KKP on behalf of the EFL Trust.

Football clubs across the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two will be taking part in the EFL Day of Action showcasing the programmes and activities that EFL clubs and their club community organisations (CCOs) deliver to help with a wide range of social issues, including diversity and inclusion, education, and health and wellbeing.

The report, produced by KKP and titled Measuring the Impact of EFL Clubs in the Community, shows that over a 12-month period EFL clubs/CCOs delivered some 562,000 hours of group activity, involved more than 886,000 people, and spent over £62.8 million on social and community projects. The study comprises the first comprehensive overview of club-based involvement in, and impact on, local communities and, viewed collectively, the whole of England.

Findings were based on a three-stage methodology devised by KKP in conjunction with the EFL and EFL Trust to apply common measures to the national network of clubs/CCOs, creating a clear national picture underpinned by robust data. The methodology comprised initial analysis of work carried out by clubs/CCOs, followed by a detailed pilot study of eight EFL clubs and, finally, the roll out of comprehensive survey to all EFL clubs nationally.

Rick Parry, EFL chair, introduced and acknowledged the importance of the report, commenting: “Our clubs have always had a unique position at the heart of their respective towns and cities, so it is important that we celebrate some of the fantastic work being carried out on a daily basis, and also understand the effect that clubs have on their individual and collective communities. Commissioned by the EFL to survey all EFL clubs and club community organisations, KKP has provided a unique study which allows us to demonstrate what clubs do on a national scale.”

KKP chief executive John Eady commented: “KKP’s extensive experience in the field of impact evaluation and specialist performance measurement expertise enabled us to devise a research method that generated the data and developed the analysis to demonstrate the huge community impact – and potential – of EFL clubs/CCOs.”

John Eady continued: “Over the course of the research more than one million data cells were produced and analysed. This was a huge task for Peter Millward and the KKP data team, which also applied a whole raft of geographic, socio-economic and household data to deliver results that were credible, insightful and replicable. The 93% response rate for the survey makes for robust, comprehensive data and is a testament to the effort and commitment of the KKP team to the project.”

In addition to a national report and dataset, KKP produced specific reports for each club and CCO. Each includes a catchment area profile (age structure, total population, projected population, deprivation measures and maps, ethnic composition, income, benefits dependency, crime rates, health indicators and activity rates) and findings related to participation, engagement, purpose, environment and funding.

The national picture that has emerged confirms the scale, human resources and time deployed in programmes that are covering: sport and physical activity; health and wellbeing; education and employability programmes; and community engagement.

Within the Measuring the Impact of EFL Clubs in the Community report, the EFL notes: “Looking ahead, a comprehensive baseline now exists that is not only informative in its own right but enables a more insightful strategic approach nationally and at individual clubs/CCOs.”

Notes for editors

 

 

The FA National Football Facilities Strategy: delivering a nationwide set of local football facility plans

KKP’s work on behalf of the FA to deliver a local football facility plan (LFFP) for every local authority is nearing completion. Andrew Fawkes explains how it has been done and what it means for local football.

Grassroots football facilities, their poor condition and impact on the pathway to performance of our national team are perennially emotive issues faced by the FA and frequently raised in the national media. However, the FA is now implementing a 10-year strategy to change the landscape of football facilities in England. This is underpinned by an action plan for investment in every local authority, referred to as a Local Football Facility Plan (LFFP).

KKP is leading delivery of the LFFP programme, working hand in hand with county FAs. This process has run over an intensive two-year period and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2020.

Working in partnership with the UK Government, the Premier League, Sport England and the Football Foundation, the FA is setting out its response to, and estimating the costs of addressing, the needs of grassroots football in light of KKP’s work. Feedback on existing facilities received as part of the LFFP process consistently mirrors that of the national strategy. It is a picture of poor-quality grass pitches, changing pavilions in need of improvement, and insufficient access to floodlit, artificial grass (3G) football turf pitches (FTPs). The cumulative ask in terms of capital investment required is huge but the FA is also playing catch-up in terms of facility numbers; England has only half the number of 3G pitches of its European footballing neighbours.

Having now spoken directly to over 2,000 grassroots football clubs, nearly 300 local authorities plus a range of other stakeholders (not to mention covering thousands of motorway miles), our team has identified an excellent portfolio of pipeline projects. Surrey is one of the areas with high potential; it is also one of the largest and most diverse of the FA’s counties. The Surrey County FA serves an area with a population of over two million people, 4,000 teams and more than 40,000 registered players. It encompasses the 11 boroughs and districts in the Surrey County Council domain plus five London boroughs. It is also an area where the county FA takes a strong lead on facilities development.

Quite a few community clubs in Surrey are, in terms of levels of demand and their management capacity, capable of taking on full-sized FTPs in their own right. As an example, following KKP’s work on Waverley Borough Council’s playing pitch strategy (PPS) and now its LFFP, several projects are either in the pipeline or are now on the point of delivery. Some of these are supported by significant Section 106 funding and all are benefitting from strategic engagement with the Football Foundation.

Of the 330 LFFPs commissioned, 70% are now signed off and being activated by county FAs working with the Football Foundation Engagement Team.  From KKP’s perspective, it is highly encouraging to note that stakeholder feedback on the LFFP development process is very positive; across all plan elements, more than 93% of those who expressed a specific view confirmed the usefulness and accuracy of their plan’s content.

This overwhelmingly positive feedback is a strong endorsement of the methodology KKP has developed over many years of experience in this field. It is also a testament to the hard work the KKP team puts in on the ground, visiting sites and engaging with clubs and communities in situ to develop real insight into facilities and the opportunities they can deliver.

Andrew Fawkes is a Principal Consultant with KKP. Contact him at andrew.fawkes@kkp.co.uk

Details of the LFFP programme are available via the Football Foundation website at https://localplans.footballfoundation.org.uk

(Figures based upon receipt of 318 responses from local authorities, county FAs and other stakeholders). 

 

14 February 2020

NEWS RELEASE: New commission takes KKP to playing pitch century

Issue date: 11 February 2020

New commission takes KKP to playing pitch century
100 playing pitch strategies since new Sport England guidance

Knight, Kavanagh and Page (KKP) reached its playing pitch strategy (PPS) century with the recent commission from Halton Borough Council. This will be the 100th PPS that KKP has undertaken since publication of the Sport England PPS Guidance in mid-2013.

Playing pitch strategies are commissioned to ensure that funding is invested effectively, reaching the right pitches in the right places. Sport England recommends that all local authorities have an up-to-date PPS in order to meet the recreational, sporting and physical activity needs of local communities. They now also underpin the FA’s Local Football Facilities Plan for each local authority in England.

Claire Fallon, KKP director and principal consultant who leads KKP’s work in this discipline, commented: “Our 100th PPS commission since the Sport England guidance is a significant milestone, both for KKP as an organisation and for the concept of a proper planning process for playing pitches, which are fundamental to sport at all levels and in all areas of the country.”

Claire continued: “The number of PPS commissions KKP receives is testament to the hard work that our team puts in, gathering the most robust data possible, getting out to speak to users and seeing the facilities for themselves. Our team makes it their responsibility to visit every site and talk to anyone and everyone who might be a user or stakeholder. They take great pride in getting their boots muddy in the line of duty.”

KKP’s approach to preparing a PPS emphasises the importance of site visits, a detailed inter-personal consultation process, and the compilation of comprehensive reliable data. Site visits enable the KKP team not only to log every facility but also to assess the scale, quality and accessibility of each pitch, along with the opportunities it might represent. The consultation process involves numerous face-to-face and telephone interviews, ensuring the full engagement of all stakeholders, while the company’s geographic information systems (GIS) team provides a huge resource, mapping demographic and participation data, and evaluating the impact of population increases and housing development to underpin the process.

KKP chief executive John Eady commented: “This is our 100th PPS since the Sport England guidance was published but KKP has been delivering them since 2002, so we have actually done a great many more. Our track record was the reason for KKP’s selection to the 2010 PPS consultants framework and also what prompted Sport England to commission KKP to draft the PPS guidance on its behalf. This was published in 2013 and we were pleased to be able to make our knowledge and experience available to such a wide audience.”

Eady continued: “KKP’s reputation and client base in this field has grown rapidly, primarily because we commit ourselves to the highest standards and the quality of our work is founded on the most detailed evidence base in the sector. This approach means hard work but our insistence on working this way is based on the fact that face-to-face consultation unearths realistic, robust issues and better identifies demand. Our success in this field suggests that clients recognise and value our commitment to high standards and high-quality outcomes.”

Notes for editors

• Further details of KKP’s work on playing pitch strategies and in all aspects of the fields of sport, leisure and planning are available via the KKP website at www.kkp.co.uk
• Claire Fallon and John Eady are available for interview. Please contact KKP via 0161 764 7040 or email mail@kkp.co.uk
• The Sport England document Playing Pitch Strategy Guidance: An Approach to Developing and Delivering a Playing Pitch Strategy is available via the Sport England website at: www.sportengland.org/facilities-and-planning 
• The KKP post-project completion survey undertaken with all clients between 2014-2019 showed that more than 97% of clients would recommend KKP to others and more than 93% were prepared to be referees.

Importance of quality

KKP’s approach to quality and customer service has served its clients well over the course of 30 years of business. John Eady explains how and why quality is central to the Company’s modus operandi.

Maya Angelou, the American poet, singer and civil rights activist, said, “People forget what you said. They forget what you did. But they never forget how you made them feel.”

KKP is a busy consultancy practice with a great many projects running at once and it is easy to get caught up in what we do, what we think we have achieved for our clients and the great service provided. However, although we do excellent work, it is essential never to forget that it is the client that matters most. Great customer service is measured by whether, at the end of the assignments, clients feels that they made the right decision in choosing KKP to deliver the strategy or solve their problem. Even when we disagree with a client’s point of view – and it is fundamentally important that we are able to disagree – it is vital that they know that we are on their side and committed to helping them.

The absolute underpinning of this is quality. Fully rounded, the concept of quality draws upon a wide variety of elements, skills and behaviours: open-mindedness; listening and hearing; knowledge, experience and expert analysis; plus the confidence to reflect and challenge. However, at the top of the list of the essentials of quality would have to be: attitude, communication and commitment to the client’s interest.

KKP first acquired ISO9001 quality certification in 2007 – for project management and delivery – as part of a determination to put quality at the centre of our business. We have been successfully reassessed every year since, up to and including 2019. ISO, in effect, drives continual review and improvement across all work areas. It subjects the organisation to regular interrogation and oversight by expert external assessors but ultimately the quality of our operation will be judged by our clients.

On project completion, all clients are asked to evaluate and rate us on the following criteria:

  • The final product delivered: how well we met the brief, attention to detail, the quality of work undertaken and the report/strategy/feasibility study/evaluation produced.
  • The quality of client communication, support and advice, both during and after the delivery of the contract.
  • On-time delivery and the meeting of deadlines, with regard to overall outcomes and interim project milestones.
  • The extent to which they consider us to have delivered value for money.

Between 2014 and December 2019 KKP received completed feedback from 126 clients; two thirds of these were local authorities with the balance from a combination of national governing bodies of sport (NGBs), planning consultancies and developers, universities, leisure trusts and active partnerships. All the feedback we receive is scored and analysed; we believe the results speak for themselves. Most notably, virtually all (more than 97%) would recommend us to others and more than 93% are prepared to be referees.

In 2020 KKP entered its 30th continuous year in business so there is a good chance that our clients know who we are, how we work and what they are going to get in terms of our experience, attitude and ethos. After three decades of working across a range of professional sectors on a wide variety of projects with a huge number of clients, we have come to the conclusion that the process of choosing and working with a consultancy can be boiled down to the following fundamentals:

  • Choose a practice that you know will look to learn with you from any subject or situation.
  • Work with people who do not come with fixed ideas about how things are supposed to be and how to handle them.
  • Value truth and integrity above all other things; they are the key to high-quality consultancy and without them the support you get will be of limited, if any, value.
  • Choose people who will go into battle for you (and if necessary – behind closed doors – with you) to ensure the right outcome.

When you are choosing a consultancy keep these fundamentals in mind. Investing in quality is always worth the cost.

Client rating of KKP delivery (as of 31 December 2019)



 

7 February 2020

When it comes to transforming volunteering, beware of transformation

Volunteering underpins a huge proportion of community life but how can we make the volunteering experience better for volunteers and the organisations who rely on their help? John Eady offers some thoughts.

Across the UK volunteering is recognised as the keystone of community life. The huge amount of time and activity delivered by volunteers is, quite rightly, celebrated as an essential contribution to the work of the many organisations that depend on them. The support, devotion and assistance of this unpaid workforce is of enormous value to the recipient organisations and has a profound impact on lives, environments and opportunities within communities all over the country. Of no less importance are the significant health, wellbeing and personal development benefits that good volunteering can have for the individuals who give their time.

Note the use of the word ‘good’ here: good volunteering is the key. Given that so much of the nation’s sporting and cultural life is dependent upon volunteering, it is vitally important that we get it right. Making volunteering a positive experience, both for the volunteers that contribute and the organisations that rely upon them, is crucial but it is not easy and it is not always done well. Working with volunteers and managing the volunteer experience needs to be much better if our volunteering culture is to thrive.

Influence

Transforming the volunteering experience to maximise the effectiveness of the contributions being made does not necessarily require seismic shifts in the volume or type of work being undertaken. However, volunteers do need support. If this support is to be effective there needs to be a clear understanding of who our volunteers are, what they do, why they do it and what value their volunteering delivers, both for themselves and to the organisations with which they work.

Lead agencies and organisations need to be committed to volunteer development but they also need to be clear from the outset about the ways in which the programmes, venues and networks supported by volunteers will be funded in the future. A great many sports venues, parks and open spaces, along with all the opportunities they create, will depend upon this – and the volunteers who lend their time, energy and goodwill so prodigiously deserve nothing less.

Intelligence

Equally vital is clarity about positive and negative volunteer involvement, remembering to differentiate between the value of engagement for the participating volunteer and the organisation receiving the input. Experience suggests that while the overwhelming majority of volunteering input is founded on good intentions, the outcomes do not always end up matching the original ambition.

Organisations looking to transform the volunteer experience and the effectiveness of the volunteering input need to be clear about their own direction, contribution and outcomes. They also need to be clear about the management, funding and ownership of the environments, bodies and programmes to which their volunteers are contributing.

Within communities across the UK there is a whole raft of societies, ‘friends of’ groups, and voluntary clubs that adopt and perform a variety of stewardship roles for open spaces, sport, physical activity, allotments, parks, village and parish halls, play areas and community recreation facilities. In all these environments getting the desired transformation will depend upon a balance between, on one side, the support, engagement and co-ordination that might be interpreted as the imposition of ‘bureaucracy’, and the positive enhancement of the work of smaller groups and individual volunteers on the other.

All this work must also take into account the issues associated with, for example, age, gender, ethnicity, experience, and areas of high and multiple deprivation. There will also be local and project-specific improvement tools and mechanisms to be considered, including associated motivation and reward factors. When it comes to volunteering and working with volunteers, numerous strategies, processes and resources have been tried, tested and (to a lesser degree) evaluated. They may be of help to your improvement process.

Implications

If we’re talking about transforming the volunteering experience, the use of term ‘transformation’ might imply that volunteers on the ground, the ‘volunteers in charge’ and the professionals who manage and interact with volunteers have fully thought through what it is that they ask for and why. In truth, in the majority of cases a great many activities will have evolved around the need to react to local changes and circumstances. Across the annual (and longer-term) cycle of sport, arts, culture, open space, voluntary body or parks operations, more than we might like to admit will be based upon the characters of those interacting in the process rather than any specific overarching ambition.

Imperatives

All this means that any support provided must strike a balance: between leading and dictating; between direction and empowerment; between instruction and engagement. This support also needs to fit with the groups and individuals through which agencies look to ‘invest’ in excellent volunteer practices that align with their own strategic objectives.

Excellence in volunteer practices might include, for example: volunteer quality, recruitment and retention, improved communication and evaluation processes, a broader workforce with less pressure on key individuals, greater capacity to grow the workforce, and an ability to deliver an excellent experience for those involved.

Such processes need to consider and/or incorporate the key elements of a good volunteer experience, along with the skills and knowledge needed to enable the delivery of such an experience:

Examples of key elements of a good volunteer experience

 Preparation for the role
 Honesty about realistic time commitments
 Clarity about their place in the decision-making hierarchy, areas of influence, etc
 Whether roles are based on single or multiple tasks
 Levels of guidance and direction needed; and levels of guidance and direction actually available
 Volunteer induction when starting and when taking on a new role
 Volunteers’ understanding of, and respect for, each other’s roles
 Progress evaluation, recognition, appreciation and thanks, whether delivered personally or publicly.

Examples of the skills and knowledge needed to enable delivery of a good volunteer experience

 Leader/co-ordinator understanding of how individual volunteer roles fit within the overall environment, entity or function
 Appreciation of, and a commitment to, alleviation of personal work overload
 Leader and peer appreciation of the value of the volunteer role being undertaken
 The skill of the ‘task allocator’, including delegation, authorising, empowerment, recognition (of effort and achievement)
 The willingness of those in leadership positions to recognise, challenge and (if required) ‘weed out’ volunteers who limit or obstruct, particularly where this adversely affects the motivation (and ultimately retention) of other effective volunteers.

Attracting, training and deploying volunteers to work in areas such as tackling health inequalities, supporting the ill and unwell, or assisting people facing physical and mental health challenges and disabilities is hugely important. However, while the level of depth is often good, numbers are almost invariably low. Such work requires commitment for the long haul. As the number and proportion of people aged 65-plus rises there is a need to consider whether and how volunteer-based support can be provided to older people while also recruiting more effectively from this cohort.

Intentions

If we are trying to transform the volunteer experience one element of the solution might be to persuade those involved with leading and managing volunteers to better reflect upon what they, their people and their volunteers do, why they do it and with what results.

Few organisations find it easy to find time for volunteer leaders to discuss, plan, implement and review the actions they take to improve the volunteer experience. Organisations need to find a way to think about how they attract volunteer support, how long people stay in volunteering roles, which roles show the most attrition, and how volunteering in essential areas can be made more attractive and rewarding. Anything that can help them do this, or raise awareness of the range of support and guidance available, will pay dividends.

Investigation

Volunteer segmentation can also be a useful part of a transformative process. Considerable research has been undertaken into the motivation involved in volunteering but little which explores the motivational role of the different environments and experiences to which volunteers are exposed, for example age, duration of volunteering roles and recruitment routes.

Alternative segmentation approaches consider factors such as effectiveness, time commitments, and the extent to which the personality and attitude of ‘lead’ volunteers encourage or discourage the involvement of others.

While much discussion around these models will be essentially light-hearted and used to stimulate debate, such models do assist those involved to consider the nature of the volunteer resource they have at their disposal and the impact this has on their operation and progress.

KKP’s volunteer segmentation models encompass a range of such factors, including chronology, environment, background and potential motivations. While not exhaustive, the example below does illustrate the complexity of the sector and the level of knowledge, detail and understanding required to develop appropriate actions and resources.

Volunteer segmentation model

Inferences

While the sector may benefit from a transformative approach to the way it recruits, manages and deploys its volunteers, KKP’s extensive experience of working within and around volunteering suggests that terms such as ‘transformation’ can be problematic. What is innovative to one person may be standard practice to another. Alternative (if less ‘corporately sexy’) terms such as ‘learning’, ‘improvement’ and ‘development’ all imply change, whether that change is incremental, radical or revolutionary.

Perhaps the key is less imposition and more reflection (possibly with assistance), along with greater understanding and recognition of how an individual contribution at localised level underpins delivery of greater strategic ambitions and benefits.

Slightly corrupting a quote from an unnamed source: “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections every so often but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”

And slightly misquoting American humourist Leo Rosten: “The purpose of volunteering is to matter – to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference.”

 

31 January 2020

Chiltern’s new Lifestyle Centre gets the go ahead

 

Following three years of intense research, planning and consultation, final plans for the new Chiltern Lifestyle Centre have been approved.

KKP is proud to have been part of the project team assisting Chiltern District Council in develop its strategy and assessing the feasibility to develop this flagship facility. We worked closely with colleagues at Space & Place Architects in the development of the concept and design of the state-of-the-art community lifestyle hub, which brings together a range of leisure activities and complementary services under the one roof

KKP prepared the full business case for the new facility and managed the community consultation and research for the development. Over 2,500 residents took part in the community survey which gave the Council the mandate for the investment, with many more supporting consultation events throughout the development of the project.

The Chiltern Lifestyle Centre will provide a wide range of sport, leisure and community activities and facilities including two swimming pools; fitness suite; studios; a sports hall; squash courts; climbing and bouldering; soft play and kids climbing; health spa; library; community centre and pre-school nursery.

David McHendry, Managing Director at KKP, said: “We’re proud to have supported the Chiltern Lifestyle Centre from its inception to full approval. We’d like to congratulate Chiltern District Council for having the vision for such an extensive, but much-needed, new local facility and we’d like to thank to all the clubs, key stakeholders and individuals who contributed to the development of the project.

“The blueprint for the Chiltern Lifestyle Centre incorporates the key benefits of co-location and demonstrates the synergy achieved by a complementary range of community services located under one roof. The operational challenge is to ensure that all the key user groups benefit from a centralised catering offer and extensive ancillary facilities without losing their identity.”

There will multi-functional use of the different spaces which will be able to cater for activities and agencies ranging from youth groups, University of the 3rd Age (U3A) to diving and swimming competitions.

The existing buildings on the King George V site will be demolished – apart from the historic barns – and will be replaced by the lifestyle centre. There will also be external sports equipment, a multi-use games area, play areas and associated parking and landscaping.

The old Chiltern Pools centre is no longer fit for purpose; having been built in 1965 it is not only aesthetically showing its age, but also requires urgent repair or replacement in some key areas of the facility, making it uneconomical to run long-term. The new centre has been designed to high quality standards which will reduce the ongoing management costs that arise from operating older centres.

The Lifestyle Centre, along with the improvements to the centres at Chesham and Chalfont will significantly reduce the Council’s Co2 emissions and will be one of only two A-rated buildings of this kind in the country.

 

23 August 2019

Golf equality…maybe not quite yet!

By KKP’s Director and Principal consultant (and keen golfer), Clare MacLeod.

 

It is to be hoped that the increased publicity surrounding this year’s Open Golf Championship leads to increased participation among both men and women on all courses.

We are continually told that golf is in terminal decline, that clubs need to get their act together and that shorter and more fun versions of the sport are needed.

Having been involved in the review of a substantial number of courses and facilities, my perception is that golf clubs are fighting back. Many have, at the very least, ‘bottomed out’ and are starting to show increased membership numbers (underpinning improved finances) despite not necessarily having opted to offer different versions of the sport (not that I am against this).

The number of women who play golf remains stubbornly low (only 15% of golf club membership – a figure lower than many other European countries). There is, arguably, a number of reasons for this and it is also true to say that we women golfers do not necessarily help the cause.

Take the term ‘working women’.  How often have you heard the phrase “we must help working women to play golf?” It is common parlance in many clubs and more importantly some actually mean it! I have real concerns about the use of this term as it implies that it is not common for women to work. In case you hadn’t spotted it, this is the 21st Century, women (alongside men) are educated to within an inch of their life, have career choices and the UK (in general) has really high employment rates. I don’t recall the term ‘working men’ being bandied about in the same vein.

Whilst certainly not the only factor, perhaps one step in the right direction is to look at competition opportunity and the doggedly stubborn view that ‘ladies’ should have competition days in midweek and if lucky an alternative day at a weekend (as long as it does not interfere with men’s competition). Are we not all golfers (who just happen to play off different tees…for that matter, why do we play off different tees)?

For the key Board competitions  (and following an 8-hour day at work for approximately eight weeks of the year) I can rush out of work, hope there is no traffic en route, get to the club, pull all my gear out of the car (hoping that I have remembered everything) run into the changing rooms to put on my shoes (can’t be seen putting them on in the car park as it is bad form), sign in (well I would do but the pro has left for the day) put my money in the box, meet my partner (who has deigned to play late) and stride of onto the first tee feeling as refreshed and ready as Rory McIlroy was on the first hole of Royal Portrush.

During August, we have to hope that there are no other players on the course as we do not wish to be delayed by slow play as the light is starting to fade (and particularly as I live in the North West, this is mixed with cloud and drizzle). Stories persist that rounds of golf have been known to finish illuminated by car headlights! Great for storytelling but not good if you are someone who wants to play her best, whatever your handicap!

Do I play my best golf…no, do I feel part of an inclusive club,…no, is there any solution… yes, of course there is.

A local golf club recently celebrated the fact that it allowed women to play in the men’s weekend competition in order to get their cards marked – a change championed by one particular member. It, however, begs the question in respect of whether we should be calling it a men’s competition or just ‘the competition day’.  Should we really be celebrating (rather than simply saying ‘about time’) what is an essentially minor and long overdue change…apparently yes.

Over two years ago, the club at which I play offered to do the same – it was the ladies who declined. Consequently, in a few weeks when we go to alternative day playing (we are fortunate in that I have found another female worker who can play at a weekend) I can play in the comp whilst all my mates play recreationally.

Are we really going to offend men’s sensibilities if we play alongside them and even let them mark our card? This does not yet necessarily mean joint competitions (that may be a step too far for even the egalitarian liberal men who play the game). Perhaps this is best tagged as a ‘distant dream’ for most of us.

We are all aware that events such as the Women’s Football World Cup and the Netball World Cup raise the profile of women’s sport and have a real impact on both men and women. As I travel up and down the country going about my business, I see women playing netball and football as part and parcel of everyday life. By consigning women to playing golf competitions midweek, we effectively hide the sport away from the general public, allowing some men to perpetuate the unequal status quo.

It is a right as a golfer to be able to play golf in competitions at a weekend regardless of gender. This one small step could have enormous repercussions across the sector…other ideas to follow.

Next week – membership fees!

 

6 August 2019

Copeland appoints assessor for open spaces

Copeland appoints assessor for open spaces

 

We have been appointed to carry out an open space and protected green space assessment for Copeland Borough Council, which will inform the borough’s Local Plan.

We triumphed over four competitors for the appointment, which will see the open and green spaces team contribute to Copeland’s evidence base for the new Local Plan.

Following the appointment, we will produce an updated open space assessment and review and recommend protected green spaces for the local plan.

We are asking residents, businesses and interested parties for their opinions on public open space in the borough including local parks and gardens, country parks; play areas for younger children; open spaces for older children and teenagers; general green space; allotments and churchyards.

Public open space provides opportunities for sport and recreation, socialising, tourism and wildlife, making an important contribution to the health and well-being of communities, ecosystems and economies. Copeland has a variety of public open spaces from allotments, to small local play areas and the larger parks.

However, up-to-date information is needed in order to ensure that there is adequate provision of accessible, high quality open spaces that meet the needs and aspirations of local communities, local people and people who work in or visit the borough.

Did you know, the borough is home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, and the deepest lake, Wastwater? Both are located in the magical Wasdale Valley in the heart of Copeland.

To speak to the team about any open or green space contracts, please call 0161 764 7040 or email christopher.macfarlane@kkp.co.uk

 

12 July 2020

University of Warwick Sports Hub is now open – KKP delivered the feasibility study

A new world-class £36m Sports Hub at the University of Warwick is now open creating one of the best sports facilities at a UK university – including the UK’s largest gym facility in the HE sector. To reinforce the University of Warwick’s ambition to be the “most physically active campus community in the UK by 2020”, the Sports Hub is open to all students, staff and the general public.

The new sports centre replaces the old sports centre on the campus and features a sports hall, a 12-lane swimming pool, fitness suites, climbing and bouldering walls and flexible studio spaces, as well as squash courts, outdoor 3G sports pitches and netball courts.

It will also be the official training ground of Coventry’s Wasps Netball super-league team.

For the University of Warwick’s feasibility study, we delivered concept development, master planning, capital cost analysis and revenue business planning, as well as leading on the consultation with senior staff members at the institution.

KKP is one of the UKs leading sports and leisure consultancies. We deliver feasibility studies for facilities of all scales, types and combinations; encompassing sporting, cultural and community provision including co-location, complex multi-agency, indoor, outdoor, adventure and water-sports projects developed under the auspices of a range of funding routes and partners. Clients include governments, local authorities, universities and colleges, commercial developers, schools voluntary and professional clubs.

During the last 2-3 years we have undertaken a range of projects at universities as diverse as Leeds, Royal Holloway, Aston, Glasgow Caledonian, Aberystwyth, Manchester, Salford and University College Cork as well a review of the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).  These all build upon other work undertaken across the sector over the last 16 years

For more information or to speak to a team member, please call 0161 764 7040 or email DM@kkp.co.uk

 

24 May 2020

Sport and physical activity provision at universities – desirable or essential?

KKP’s work across the University Sector stems back to the strategy for sport it delivered at the point when UMIST and the University of Manchester came together in 2003. In terms of the range of projects and HEIs with which we have worked, it is second to none.

We were involved in the initial and detailed feasibility stages on two of the most recent high-profile investments in major sports facilities at the universities of Birmingham and Warwick. For these we delivered concept development, master planning, capital cost analysis and revenue business planning, as well as leading on consultation with senior staff across both institutions.

During the last 2-3 years we have undertaken a range of projects at universities as diverse as Leeds, Royal Holloway, Aston, Glasgow Caledonian, Aberystwyth, Manchester, Salford and University College Cork as well a review of the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).  These all build upon other work undertaken across the sector over the last 16 years.

Not all of these focus solely on investment in new sports facilities. They cover a wider range of issues currently affecting the sector such as:

  • The role of sport in the wider student experience.
  • The role of sport reducing student attrition.
  • Outsourcing the management of sports facilities.
  • Impact-led sports directorate programmes.
  • Optimum approaches to engaging the whole student base in physical activity.
  • External funding opportunity.
  • Developing different business models for service delivery.
  • Reflecting UK policy, using sport to engage the wider local community.

The Government is currently reviewing how Higher Education is funded and is considering a reduction in the annual tuition fee to students, which currently stands at £9,250.

However, it is unlikely to make up the shortfall via any change to the funding regime. On this basis, for every £1,000 reduction in student fees, the Government calculates that the sector will lose £1 billion; reducing fees to £6,500 could, thus, mean a loss of nearly £3 billion.

But what might this mean for student sport? Unless a university is already planning to invest in its sports facilities, it may be less easy to include this in its longer-term financial planning. Universities will undoubtedly need to refocus their priorities, reduce staffing and become more streamlined. If parallels with local government occur, we could see moves to take out director of sport roles and subsume sport and physical activity within directorates which manage a wider portfolio of services. It might also lead to more outsourcing of sports facilities management, accompanied by a requirement to generate increased income from the community, students and staff.

Although sport and physical activity is not the primary factor when students are deciding which university to attend, it is an important (arguably vital) contributor to the overall student experience. Not just for those who represent their university in competitive teams but also for those who wish to keep fit, try new sports/activities, meet like-minded people and join new friendship groups. Given the wider pressures on students, being physically active is increasingly recognised as a positive contributor to mental wellbeing and the contribution it makes should not be allowed to be underestimated.

Although universities face major funding challenges, there is an increasing need to understand and do more to deliver on the wider role of sport and physical activity in relation to student experience rather than reacting by cutting or limiting services. Student sport does not need to be a drain on a university’s resources. It can be financially sustainable if facilities are of the right quality, services are geared to meeting the physical activity needs of the whole student body and the delivery mechanisms put into place are the right ones.

For more information or to speak to a team member, please call 0161 764 7040 or email DM@kkp.co.uk

 

14 May 2020

KNIGHT KAVANAGH & PAGE