The Strategy & Social Enterprise activities of BAN are led by an informal group comprising John Dennis (Keighley & Craven AC), the BAN Director of Strategy, Simon Forde (Airedale Athletics and St Bede’s AC), and Claire Mabey (Bradford Airedale AC). The group’s current activities are as follows:
Database of interested individuals: Working with social runners and those not attached to clubs, and building a community alongside club athletes.
All of these activities are developed in conjunction with the work of the Communications working group.
- Creating and managing a database of over 1250 club members and unattached runners; and in the short-term increasing this to 1500.
- Developing a website for BAN and social networking applications, all managed by the Social Enterprise.
- Brokering information about training routes, results, fixtures and forthcoming events (all on the aforementioned website).
- Developing the functionality and accessibility of the database – to designated club representatives and specified BAN users, but developing functionalities for individual athletes so that they can monitor their own development online (in line with recommendations made at the Benchmarking Conference in Keighley in mid 2010).
Establishing a Social Enterprise and through it improving the effectiveness and businesslike approach of clubs
- Ensure that appropriate financial, auditing and management systems are in place. Top priority involves improving the information provided to the BAN Treasurer, and assistance for club treasurers. The Social Enterprise will report to the termly Co-ordinating Group meetings of network representatives
- The aim of the Social Enterprise is to be a fund-raising arm of BAN, but this is also a means to making clubs more viable and responsive to communities.
- Making closer links with other sports, such as orienteering, cycling, triathlon, swimming, gymnastics and power sports, and (where possible and appropriate) forming structural links (e.g. sportKeighley and the Airedale Athletics partnership). Similarly BAN will work with Active Bradford to forge a strategic district-wide sports policy which places athletics as a core sport at the very heart of sports provision in Bradford.
- Employing, as funds allow and where successful funding applications permit, part-time staff to assist with the administration of BAN and its activities and to further develop its activities through pro-active work by the Social Enterprise.
Benchmarking and ensuring a sustainable future for the sport
- Embedding the lessons from the Benchmarking Conference at Keighley in June 2010 to establish criteria against which we can assess ourselves. In mid 2011 the theme of the annual conference will be ‘Sustainable Sport’.
- Establishing an international group to compare Bradford and West Yorkshire with similar city-regions abroad. It is intended that this group will meet at the annual conferences and will explore ways of making useful comparisons and to undertake significant scholarly research using BAN as a case-study.
- Identifying simple measurements for monitoring the progress of individuals, clubs and athletics networks, and then embedding these indicators in the database of participants, and the monitoring of individual performances.
- Attendance of England Athletics networking days and other events (e.g. EA Awards Dinners, Network Conferences etc.); other Contingencies
The expected numbers of beneficiaries during the current year are: over 1250 people on the database (unattached runners plus 400 club members and 30 coaches); while everyone involved in athletics at whatever level will benefit from the activities and fund-raising of the Social Enterprise.
The England Athletics subsidy this year for these activities is £2300. Bradford College and Leeds City College, Keighley offer facilities and help for the conference worth £6500. The three-person group expects to commit 1550 hours of volunteer time to these projects and estimates that £4500 of unclaimed travel and other expenses are offered by the volunteers on this group.