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Attendees rise to the challenge at Get Out Get Active Conference

On Thursday 20 September, Get Out Get Active (GOGA) hosted its third annual conference in Manchester. The day brought together local and national GOGA partners, local authority figures and individuals from the sport and fitness sector.

Panel discussion at conference

Activity Alliance Chief Executive, Barry Horne welcomed attendees to the conference and opened proceedings by calling upon GOGA partners and stakeholders to rise up to the challenge of inactivity. The event also reaffirmed to attendees that collaboration and inclusion at all levels are at the heart of GOGA’s vision.  

Throughout the day attendees enjoyed a full programme of listening to personal stories, engaging in themed discussions and getting hands-on in a series of workshops.

First up, attendees heard from Morris, a GOGA Peer Mentor, and Stephen, a GOGA participant (pictured below). They both spoke about their journey through the programme and how they took up yoga together – a new activity for both of them. Within four months they both became more physically active, and since then they have gone on to take up new activities.

GOGA participants share personal experiences at conference Themed panel discussion, hosted by Activity Alliance Trustee, Dr Phil Friend OBE, saw Debbie Lye, Spirit of 2012 Chief Executive, Umar Ahmed, National Communities Manager at Sporting Equals, Karla Burton, GOGA Bradford lead and Richard Brickley, GOGA Fife lead talk about GOGA’s approach to tackling inactivity.

Keynote presentations from Emma Thompson O’Dowd, GOGA lead at Women in Sport and Terri Ritchie, GOGA lead for Wrexham focussed on sustaining participation of inactive people. Ryan McQuillian, GOGA lead for Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon, Northern Ireland, also took to the stage to discuss the journey from shared learning to effective delivery and impact.

Key takeaways from the compelling presentations were: engaging women in sport and physical activity through non-traditional approaches, the importance of having a diverse workforce and utilising community venues for activity sessions and investing in people who can influence others in becoming more active.

It was great to see the Conference bring together our partners and key stakeholders to talk about their learnings and share knowledge on what works for them in engaging new people to become active. The day really brought home the fantastic work that has been done by our local and national partners.
The importance of collaboration came through as a common theme in engaging inactive people in physical activity, and sustaining their participation. This is absolutely fundamental to the programme and I hope this is a big part of what people take away from the day. The Get Out Get Active programme gives our 18 localities a real opportunity to try out different methods to get some of the UK's least active disabled and non-disabled people moving more. Together we will continue to rise to the challenge of inactivity.

Kat Southwell, Head of Programmes at Activity Alliance

attendees in workshop at GOGA conferenceIn the afternoon, attendees took part in a series of workshops on effective delivery and strategic programme management. Workshop subjects included; challenging perceptions of the volunteer workforce, value of telling a good story, collaborative leadership and creating a genuine legacy. 

Fiona Reid, Chief Executive at Disability Sport Wales, brought the conference to a close by reinforcing key messages from the day and thanked all partners for their continued passion and commitment to GOGA's shared vision.  

Catch up on all the best bits from our Conference on Twitter.

For more information about the GOGA programme, visit the About Us page, or contact one of the team by emailing or call 01509 227750.