Knowledge Exchange

Summary & Videos: Developing Sustainable Programs 16 May

The recent SSP/RSP Physical Activity workshop and project sharing event was held at the Sports House Training Room on Tuesday 16 May. A great mix of SSA and RSA staff attended the event which was focussed on developing sustainable programs.

Attendees were treated to an excellent presentation by Associate Professor Jeff Walkley, the National Disability & Diversity Manager at Belgravia Leisure. Jeff designed and led the development of an evidence based national approach to disability and diversity, resulting in an increase in participation by under-represented groups that is supported by management and remains finically viable for the company. As well as talking about the importance of using data to drive decisions, Jeff highlighted the importance of understanding what drives potential partners, and gave some tips on how to select appropriate partner organisations, resulting in low cost resourcing of programs. You can view Jeff’s presentation below.

The next presentations where case studies from within the group of funded organisations: Anna Brown from Leisure Networks and Kerry Tavrou from Gymnastics Victoria. Anna highlighted some work that Leisure Networks has done to increase participation by adults over 55 across the 5 LGAs in the Barwon area. Kerry highlighted the methods used to gain buy-in from Gymnastics clubs to support inclusive programs and practices, including the type and level of support which was provided. A video of each presentation is below.

Attendees then brainstormed some key challenges and opportunities for sport organisations in three areas of revenue streams, pricing strategy and external delivery. Some of the highlights and key considerations raised by the group included:

Revenue Streams

1. User-pay (including direct & indirect). Benefits include greater buy in from participants, flexible attendance and quality control. Challenges include upfront payment as a barrier to participation and issues with managing a cash payment system.

2. Sponsorships/Partnerships. Benefits include a reduced financial risk, while challenges include the difficulty of securing external funds and the increased expectations attached to funding.
3. Grants. Benefits may include increased promotional opportunities and buy-in from government organisations. Challenges include limitations on the scope and availability (time) of funding).
4. Licencing. Benefits may include increased buy in by program deliverers and a greater market reach. Challenges include quality control and the level of support required.
5. Fundraising. Benefits include a greater connection to local communities. Challenges include limitations on the use of funds and the fact that it is less likely a recurring revenue stream.

Pricing Strategy

1. Setting price points for different target markets. Key tenants include:
a. Not selling programs for a cheaper price than what people are willing to pay.
b. Knowing your target market.
c. Knowing your competition.
2. Testing and adjusting price. Key considerations include:
a. Managing expectations – testing if people are willing to pay for the price you have set.
b. Pricing flexibility – adapting to the specific needs of different target markets.
c. Understanding your target market
d. Putting a plan in place from the start to always consider the sustainability of your program.

External Delivery

1. Opportunities: increased participation and program membership, less centralised focus of programs (leading to a greater reach), and greater ownership of programs by clubs.
2. Challenges: quality control, implementing and controlling payment systems, length of programs, weekly attendance and price scaling.

Thank you again to Jeff, Anna and Kerry for sharing stories and information about their approach to sustainability. You can view each presentation below.

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