Physical Activities Facilities Forum 2016 brought together stakeholders from across the sector

On 13 and 14 October, the second paf forum brought together architects, contractors, owners, operators and local authorities interested in achieving the best outcomes for their building and remodelling schemes. Klaus Meinel, IAKS secretary general, showcased a range of inspirational recreation and play projects from across the world perfectly illustrating how successful physical activities schemes must be bold and brave to challenge expectations. Suppliers of products and services met key decision makers involved in the design, build and management of physical activity facilities at this business networking event nearby Northampton (UK).

Delegates were treated to a seminar programme packed with thought-provoking sessions. These included an overview from David Spoors, associate at Pozzoni Architects, of the innovative Crewe Lifestyle Centre, an example of the growing trend for community hubs that combine multiple public services in a single centre.

In a joint presentation, Lisa Dodd Mayne, sports director at the University of Warwick, and Andy Mytom, partner at David Morley Architects, discussed how the university is investing more than GBP 45 million in new facilities to achieve its vision of becoming the most physically active campus in the UK by 2020. This includes the construction of a modern, custom-built sports village to significantly increase participation in sports at all levels - from encouraging children to experience a range of new sporting pastimes to the enhancement of elite performance at a national and international level.

Presentations from Marcus Kingwell, managing director of the Association of Colleges Sport, and Vince Mayne, CEO of British Universities & Colleges Sport, gave delegates an insight into the trends in further and higher education as well as an understanding of how to leverage opportunities in these sectors.

Meanwhile, Lyndsey Sims, director of services and business development at leisure trust Active Tameside, and Sarah Broad, strategic partnership and service development manager at Association of Greater Manchester Leisure and Cultural Trusts, provided a fascinating look into how leisure and cultural organisations in Greater Manchester are working together to support population scale health and wellbeing improvements across the region.

“The positive thing for me about this forum compared to others I’ve been to is the seminars. It’s about learning and sharing ideas and best practice. For example, I’ve learned something about a project in Denmark that I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t come to this forum,” says Lisa Dodd Mayne, sports director at University of Warwick.

Delegates were also able to benefit from valuable face-to-face meetings that were pre-arranged to ensure both parties maximise their time at the event.  In addition, a highly enjoyable social programme ensured that all delegates were able to network with fellow professionals representing the sport, leisure, recreation and play sectors to develop quality contacts for further business opportunities.