A new resource for maximising social impacts of big events has been released

Posted: Wed, 15 Mar 2023 10:56

A new resource for maximising social impacts of big events has been released

This week marks the release of 'Gameplan' – a handbook written primarily to support event practitioners with the delivery of major sporting events. Gameplan specifically looks at how to maximise the social impact major sporting events can have and makes a number of recommendations to support event planning and community engagement.

Gameplan is the accumulation of five years' research into major sporting events across Doncaster, by Doncaster Council's Get Doncaster Moving team and Leeds Beckett University's School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management and Carnegie School of Sport.

Doncaster Council's bold, collaborative approach to the delivery of big sports events in recent years – which has included participation in prestigious events such as the Tour de Yorkshire, UCI World Road Championships, and the Rugby League World Cup - have provided ample opportunities to test, learn and refine approaches to community involvement in major events; the findings of which have been distilled into the Gameplan handbook.

Gameplan is a four step process, (Ready, Set, Go, Next) and contains 25 tactics that provide guidance, or 'helpful hows', for implementing the approach in practice on any big event (sporting or otherwise).

To accompany Gameplan, ten templates have also been created to further support event practitioners to adopt the Gameplan approach. These resources cover everything from how to undertake a 'Sludge Audit' to identify and address participation challenges, an 'Asset Mapping' template to help identify local resources and a 'Social Impact Monitoring Tool' to support collaboration and develop a monitoring and evaluation plan to understand social impacts.

Gameplan has already been well received by key partners within the sporting industry. There are plans for a series of workshops to further share the learning with event practitioners across the UK in the coming months.

Andy Maddox, Strategic Lead, Get Doncaster Moving commented: "Over the last five years we have been working closely with partners and our communities to learn how major sporting events can get people moving and become more actively engaged in their local communities.

"Never has it been more important to understand how to align major sporting events with genuine local needs and to use those events as a vehicle for change that is experienced by local people in local places and not just at the time of the event itself.

"Gameplan provides a framework for event planning with sustained community engagement at its heart and we are pleased to be able to share these findings with others to use as a helpful guide for their own event planning processes."

Dr Thomas Fletcher, Reader in Leeds Beckett University's School of Events Tourism and Hospitality Management said: National governments, local authorities, cities and towns regularly make statements about the power of events – big and small – to positively impact people and their communities. However, all too often, these positive impacts are assumed to happen by default, rather than through proper planning. Gameplan encapsulates what we have learned in Doncaster about the key characteristics of 'how' to maximise the social impacts of big events using a human-centred and place-based approach to community
engagement. We have learned that to do things better we need to do things differently. As users of Gameplan will realise, its contents are friendly and versatile. We hope it makes an impact.

Gameplan and supporting documentation is freely available online: https://getdoncastermoving.org/gameplan

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