Friday, 22 June 2018

An Active Uprising in Manchester

Congratulations are due to ukactive for a fantastic new event in Manchester. Times are changing, and the Active Uprising brought together an ever-growing network of like-minded people and organisations as a movement with a global drive for physical activity.

With different streams focusing on Community, Innovation, ukactive Kids, Sweat North, and Ignite, there was something for everyone in the fitness industry. Many delegates wanted to be in more than one session at a time, and all breakout sessions were popular.

Mark Verstegan from exos and Mike Collier from McLaren shared best practice where health clubs and health care collide. There were some fascinating insights into modelling and processes, aggregating physical activity data and contextual (family, work, life) data as part of a member journey. Mike also explained how elite sportspeople often have up to 8 people focused on their needs, whereas the average person is focusing on up to 8 other peoples needs (partners, children, parents) as well as themselves.

Andy Burnham delivered an outstanding keynote, welcoming everyone to Manchester as the second city in the UK. His four key points start at the beginning, ensuring kids are ready for school, building exercise into the routine with concepts like the daily mile. Second is encouraging behaviour change as a policy through Greater Manchester’s devolution from the NHS, and shifting from a medical treatment service to a health promotion service. Next comes the environment, where Andy is working with Chris Boardman to create a radical blueprint of walking and cycling pathways across the metropolitan county. Finally, come ideas, the simpler the better, like the suggestion that people in the mayor’s office can wear trainers to work… something that Andy is planning on extending to other departments where possible. He left everyone with the thought that the new health challenge for the 21st century is mental health.
Steve Ward of ukactive and Andy Burnham

Over a delicious lunch, there was the opportunity for more networking and to meet more of the ActiveLab contingent, including our favourites imin and MyCustomerLens

The afternoon saw the sequel to last year’s wonderful conversation between Tanni Grey-Thompson and Jason Kenny, this year Tanni talked with Laura Kenny. I honestly thought there couldn’t be anyone more down to earth and honest than Jason, but then Laura came along, and wowed everyone (including Tanni) with her sincere humility. Two absolute sporting legends on stage, chatting about being mums. To say that she didn’t enjoy cycling as a kid or teenager, but did it because of the social side, to spend time with friends and family, was so inspirational. This was a clear and very strong message as to how we all need to think in order to get more people, more active, more often.

Active Uprising continues today and over the weekend, supported by MoveGB and GMActive. We look forward to the ukactive summit in London on 12 September, and National Fitness Day on 26 September.

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