BEST SPORTS GOVERNING BODY INITIATIVE
England Swims – Swim England
Swim England, the national governing body for aquatics in England, launched a campaign in May 2022, appealing to those from ethnically diverse communities to give their views and experiences of aquatics – aiming to make water-based activities more inclusive and accessible.
Ethnically diverse communities are under-represented across aquatics, with only 3.4% of diverse communities swimming regularly, compared with 5.5% of white communities.
The campaign’s call to action was to complete a survey, which achieved 4500 responses making the governing body initiative the most extensive of its kind in the sector.
The research and associated campaign is the first of its kind in our sector – appealing directly to targeted communities through various unfamiliar methods. Localised targeting and partnership working was vital, and being adaptable to changing approaches was instrumental in helping to achieve our targets.
The research and learning gained through its development, distribution and analysis is shaping our future of aquatics strategy and will pave the way for other diversity research within our sports. Our learnings from what has worked and what has been less successful will support our sector when looking to encourage and support greater diversity at all levels of aquatics.
Establishing a new global padel tour – Premier Padel
Premier Padel launched in February 2022 with a simple vision: to professionalise the sport and put player welfare first. The newly established tour is the only professional circuit regulated by the International Padel Federation, padel’s governing body. Premier Padel is supported by Qatar Sports Investments’ (QSI) and the Professional Padel Association (PPA). Since launch, Premier Padel has held three top category tournaments in world class locations including Foro Italico in Italy and Roland Garros in France. We have also improved player welfare by offering numerous benefits and a place in the circuit’s governance structure.
We are committed to bringing padel to new audiences and have signed broadcasting deals with beIN Sports, Sky Sports, Viaplay, SuperSport, Canal+ and ESPN. Such deals meant our first tournament reached 156 territories across 6 continents and over 129.5 million households. The latest tournament at Roland-Garros was reached 175 territories, proving growth in a limited period.
Premier Padel is also working with the FIP to have padel recognised as an Olympic sport having already secured 2023 European Games status.
Having already elevated padel for existing players and fans, we are thrilled to inspire the next generation through a new tour grounded in professionalism, fairness and integrity.
ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships – ITTF Foundation
As a result of the joint effort between the ITTF Foundation and experts in Parkinson’s disease, the ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships have birthed a new classification system and a new set of table tennis rules that better serve the needs of players with Parkinson’s Disease.
Every aspect of the table tennis classification system and rules was reanalysed, putting the physical needs of the players with Parkinson’s first. Research led by universities was carried out, monitoring and assessing how Parkinson’s Disease affects the movement of players, cross-referencing with the table tennis skill one possesses to understand how to classify the players with better fairness.
Current table tennis rules were also closely examined, followed by a focus group to identify the challenges faced by a player with Parkinson’s Disease. The new rules offer relaxation of some existing rules that are considered difficult to maintain for players with Parkinson’s Disease due to motion inabilities. Bring through new rules that are accustomed to the physical conditions of the players without sacrificing fairness in play.
The new classification system and new rules can be extended to the Para table tennis tournament targeting players with motion and coordination difficulties such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
The FA – RESPECT – The FA
To relaunch the FA’s RESPECT campaign for 2021-22, two new campaigns were brought to life. The challenge was to face down the rise in disrespectful and abusive behaviour seen in post-lockdown grassroots football, and to help stem the tide of grassroots referees hanging up their boots.
“Respect the Ref” focused on abusive behaviour towards match officials, and used relatable football vernacular to show that referees are passionate football-loving people just like everyone else on the pitch. With a positive, inclusive spin on the topic, the message was communicated in a way that made people feel good about behaving well towards the ref.
Meanwhile “Show Some Respect” targeted 16-18 year-olds with the simple message that they needed to concentrate on playing, not mouthing off to the referee or anyone else. Using England stars known for their values – Harry Kane, Fran Kirby, Raheem Sterling, Beth Mead and many more – made the message hit home harder and clearer than ever.
Both campaigns delivered over 12 million impressions each. Awareness of the RESPECT campaign reached an all-time high of 63%, and the FA’s internal positive respect scores peaked at a new high of 89%.
Watch.Hockey – The Digital Home of Hockey – FIH (International Hockey Federation)
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is the world governing body that aims at developing the sport of (field) hockey. Created in 1924, It counts with 5 Continental Federations and 140 National Associations as well as it enjoys an Olympic status since 1908 While hockey enjoys great popularity across the world, It has been challenging for fans to be aware of global scheduling and easily watch a variety of national and international hockey competitions, in particular in countries where hockey isn’t a broadcaster led sport Moreover, until now, the access to hockey was almost exclusive to the national teams in international competitions.
In 2020, FIH and its partner Nagra, created the Watch Hockey platform as a tool to keep on developing the sport, transform it into the ‘digital home of hockey’ and enabling anyone around the world to watch a full range of hockey content: live matches, replay content, interviews, schedules, live scores and statistics, news from the hockey world, and much more.
Since its launch, Watch Hockey counts with 1 2 million users from over 148 countries More than 1,000 matches and over 24 FIH and national competitions.