3.1. Year 1 performance against targets
- The priority in year one Q1 and Q2 focussed on the recruited SportsPound Activator team to get to know their localities and to establish a strong network of local people to nominate (refer) to the project. They identified local needs to help create a strong offer. As a result, a ‘nil’ target was set for Q1.
- Q2 uptake was much slower than anticipated, with less than 20% of the participation achieved (63 people engaged against a target of 370), in spite of the exhaustive research and insight that went into the development of the project.
- Furthermore, this was mirrored by low figures for throughput which showed only 216 sessions attended and led to a change in focus from the team who worked tirelessly to boost uptake with 186 newly engaged and a throughput of 426 for Q3 (2.2 sessions attended per participant).
- Feedback obtained in Q3 through social media and ongoing consultation with partners identified four main issues causing low uptake:
Issue/obstacle 1 – Difficulties with registration processes caused a delay in issuing and receipt of vouchers as well as leading to a loss of interest/motivation from potential participants.
Issue 2 – People nominated to the programme who were not ready to change their actual behaviour.
Issue 3 – The activity offer itself in terms of the activities available included too many traditional sports which were unsuitable for people who are inactive, as well as the format being promote through printed documents resulting in some activities being out of date as soon materials were printed.
Issue 4 – The leisure centre offer end up being inconsistent, both in terms of the offer it provided which varied greatly between each site and the understanding and buy-in from front line and management staff.
- To help mitigate these obstacles, a range of measures were agreed by the Project board and implemented by the SportsPound team in Q4. The number of registrations for Quarter 4 showed a significant uptake and in December 2016, 921 new participants registered online following the ‘soft’ launch of the website, in addition many also utilised their first voucher before the New Year.
3.3. Conversations with Sport England Case Manager Jim Barrett, have been continuous throughout the year and a review of performance in December 2016 brought the following conclusions:
- The project had experienced early difficulties but shown real commitment to get on track.
- The challenges faced in changing behaviours in such deprived areas are significant and much can be learned from the project (e.g. barriers/challenges, how to overcome and specific support to individuals).
- The targets originally set (which provided good value for money) were probably rather unrealistic in such a challenging environment.
3.3. It was subsequently agreed that ahead of the start of year two the targets would be revised with more realistic targets agreed as long as a good level of value for money is achieved. This involves a reasonable reduction in the participation targets and a slight increase in the participant/throughput ratio from 8 to 9 in year 2 and to 10 in year 3. This is to enable the gathering of evidence from the on-going sustainability of people’s participation and the level of on-going behaviour change that has occurred.
3.4. The following new targets were agreed:
|Participants (number of people using 1+ voucher within the period)||1||1,150||550|
|Throughput (total number of sessions attended)||1||9,200||1,500|
3.5. Actual performance in Year 1 shows a 75% achievement of target:
|Area||Target||Actual||% of target achieved|
|Yate & Dodington||134||41||31|
3.6. Going forwards we will collect as much feedback and data from participants after they have used their 8 free vouchers. Sport England recognises that collecting such data itself, poses challenges, but such data and feedback will be important to use to clarify the long term impact of the project on people’s behaviours.
3.7. Further analysis of performance provides additional insight to inform the plans for Year 2:
3.8. To achieve the revised targets for participation and throughput the following issues require further consideration:
- The figure achieved for the average number of sessions attended per participant is significantly higher than anticipated. This distortion masks the poor performance in Year 1 and is due to the revision of the throughput target which dropped from 9,200 to 1,500.
- A conversion rate of 26% (411 participants from 1563 registrations) generated a participation rate of only 75% of the participation target in Year 1. With the participation target for Year 2 nearly doubling to 950, the conversion rate will need to increase to 61% (950 participants from 1563 registrations) in order to achieve the target.
- The rationale for low participation by white males aged 14-25 needs to be established.
- The reasons for higher than anticipated uptake by women aged 26+ needs to be established.
- The number of people with a disability who participate in the project needs to be maintained.
- Less than 50% of uptake came from the Kingswood, Patchway and Yate & Dodington areas, this was significantly lower than other areas and further clarifying will be required to reach our target.
- In Filton we have achieved nearly double our participation target and there are lessons to be learnt from this success in terms of the way the offer is promoted and delivered, as well as how the providing and nominating networks operate so effectively. There are lessons to be learnt from this in terms of the offer as well as the providing and nominating networks.