Living Sport, the Active Partnership for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

2020 - Present

Ashlea Smith, Head of Delivery at Living Sport, details her reasons for using Playwaze Challenges and how it is helping to tackle inequalities by providing free and accessible opportunities to take part in physical activity.

Ashlea Smith, Head of Delivery, said,

“Playwaze Challenges has enabled us to realise that there was potential to capture a greater group of children and young people across the county by delivering virtually, and consequently shift focus towards not only competition but participation aspects and access for all too”.

What made you decide to take up Playwaze Challenges?

Covid-19 meant that all delivery had to be virtual for the foreseeable and therefore the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough School Games saw a need and requirement for a platform which would be able to deliver this; in alignment with planned timescales, efficiently and to simplify the administration for both the Active Partnership and the School Games Organisers. The GDPR compliance aspect, the flexibility in what challenges can be offered and the variety of features were a big selling point.

How have Playwaze Challenges supported you in delivering wider county priorities?

Playwaze Challenges has enabled us to realise that there was potential to capture a greater group of children and young people across the county by delivering virtually, and consequently shift focus towards not only competition but participation aspects and access for all too. The opportunity to have ‘competitive’, ‘personal best’ and ‘team’ elements to challenges has enabled greater engagement across the county and has appealed to the wider group. Alongside this, it has made School Games challenges not only possible to be undertaken at schools but also at home whilst in self-isolation and lockdown.

It has enabled our challenges to look more professional and for all information to be centralised which is through the Playwaze platform which we are ideally aiming for which the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough School Games in the coming months. The feature which allows for PDFs and videos to be uploaded will be providing opportunities for volunteer young leaders to be involved in the virtual School Games offer and enhance their skills in videography which is formulating our DfE Volunteering offer starting in January 2021. The use of Playwaze is likely to develop and further improve our secondary school sector provision also due to Playwaze being available via an app to access easily and from anywhere.

What do you see as the greatest benefit to yourselves, your networks, your schools, and your young people in using Playwaze Challenges?

A great benefit to us is that Playwaze Challenges brings the ability to host a series of School Games challenges virtually which creates very little administration and stress for the Active Partnership and SGOs. More specifically however, the challenges allow for participation anywhere, not just in schools but in open public spaces and at home, therefore tackling inequalities through providing free and accessible opportunities to be involved not only for schools but the children and young people themselves.

Another benefit for us is the inclusivity aspect it provides for our young leaders and a great opportunity for them to develop some potential employability skills and establish new skills through the design, creation and implementation of the various challenges and videography.

What are your organisations long-term ambitions with Playwaze Challenges?

As an Active Partnership we are looking to onboard our SGOs onto the platform and encourage them to engage with it in order to establish our Cambridgeshire & Peterborough School Games offer further and run the virtual challenges alongside the physical delivery to allow a more inclusive aspect to the Games. We have begun to roll this out for community projects (Active New Communities and Papworth Trust) and we would like to use this across a number of our other programmes/delivery where virtual challenges would be feasible.

In addition, we would like to incorporate a young leader’s community which will allow for practice videos and challenges to be uploaded on there as a part of the young leaders DfE funded programme.