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- 16 March 2016 00:00
- in Government
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- Last Modified: 17 March 2016 18:32
The first generation of CSPs was established around 2000 as Active Sports Partnerships, characterised as programme deliverers with a partnership approach and young people focus.
Around 2005 the second generation of CSPs were formed, principally with a business to business focus, known for facilitating delivery and partnerships 'behind the scenes', supporting Sport England, NGBs & others to deliver their plans, programmes and targets. Over the last 10 years, CSPs have become embedded as a core element of the sport and physical activity landscape and have matured as organisations, many of which are incorporated and all of which have strong governance, accountability and performance management. The CSP network now has a good track record as an efficient and reliable delivery network, and continues to grow its impact and sustainability and drive improvement through its ‘Good to Great’ mission.
Whilst results and impact continue to grow, the County Sports Partnership Network recognises that there is significant change taking place within its operating environment, and so it needs to change in order to meet the changing needs of customers, communities and stakeholders respectively.
The new Government Sport Strategy signals a step change in policy and the pending Sport England Strategy will guide funding decisions and delivery structures for the coming years. In addition, the physical activity sector is changing; reducing public expenditure is impacting on local authority capacity and investment, new providers, approaches and activities are emerging, the health, social and economic benefits of sport are becoming increasingly valued. At the same time customer needs and social norms are rapidly changing, providing new challenges and opportunities for the sector over the coming years.
Looking towards the next 10 years, what should the ‘next generation’ of CSPs look like? What are the key characteristics that should be retained in the future, and what needs to change to help in achieving its objective of improving lives by growing grass roots sport and physical activity? What culture, competencies, tools and resources will be needed to deliver this change?
A 2-day convention was organised on the 14-15 March in Nottingham to tackle these themes where 350 delegates attended from CSPs and stakeholders. In addition to some outstanding key note deliveries, there was an extensive programme of high quality clinics and workshops covering themes such as customer centricity, insight-led strategies, getting active outdoors, essentials of governance and leadership through change. The event also included the Good to Great Impact awards hosted by Chris Jones the CEO of England Athletics that recognised the impact that CSPs are having in driving local outcomes. Further details can be found at www.cspnetwork.org/impact.