Is open data the key to unlocking participation?

Wednesday 9th May - 16:10-16:50

Sport England’s strategy makes it clear that we must “keep pace with the digital expectations of customers, making it as easy to book a sports court as a hotel room”.

To achieve this ambition, we need an open approach to data: one that allows people to easily find information on physical activity opportunities across a wide range of online platforms – what’s happening, when and where – as well as offering them the chance to book those activities. This is crucial in the drive to help more people be more active.

But as things stand, the physical activity sector remains some way behind other sectors. We’re yet to provide easy, across-the-board access to the real-time activity data that would help consumers immediately find ways to be active and healthy.

So, how can the sector be brought up-to-speed, realising the full potential of an open data approach? What does open data actually mean and require, and what can be learnt from the successes of other sectors – from the consumer-centric models seen in sectors like travel?

What are the benefits and challenges for those looking to attract new audiences to their activities and facilities, and for those building online communities, behavioural change tools or the next big app? Ultimately, how can the sector get behind this drive for change?

Emma Boggis, Chief Executive at Sport and Recreation Alliance

Day 1: 16:10-16:50 Elevate Conference

Emma Boggis is the Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance - a membership organisation which believes that the power of sport and recreation can change lives and bring communities together. With its members and in partnership with the wider sector, the Alliance makes the most of opportunities and tackle the areas that provide a challenge. Working with Government, policy makers and the media, it helps grassroots sport and recreation grow and thrive.

Emma is also a non-executive Director at the British Paralympic Association, a Trustee of the National Paralympic Heritage Trust and a member of the NCVO Advisory Council.

Before joining the Alliance, Emma spent the majority of her career in the senior civil service. Latterly she was head of the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Unit in the Cabinet Office, supporting Lord Coe in his role as the Prime Minister’s Legacy Ambassador. Emma’s previous roles have included Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy in Madrid. Her early career started in the British Army where she had operational tours in Northern Ireland and Kosovo. Emma is a keen sportswoman – with a number of marathons and triathlons under her belt along with a few long-distance cycle rides.

Panellists include:

Jeni Tennison, Chief Executive at Open Data Institute

Steve Ward, Director at GLL

Jonathan Raper , CEO at

Jade Cation, Head of Business Development at EMD UK