Partners And Organisations
The Tony Blair Sports Foundation
Indoor Sport Services are a principal partner to the Tony Blair Sports Foundation. The relationship is a product of the shared philosophy that indoor rowing is a unique community-focussed activity.
The Foundation seeks to utilise the gateway activity of Indoor Sport Services programmes to engage those children alienated by traditional PE, and to provide a cohesive sports-related solution to health, education, and participation issues.
It also offers the opportunity to engage local communities, through the recruitment of volunteer coaches. It is envisaged that the TBSF indoor rowing project will eventually involve more than 70,000 pupils, in more than 250 schools
Triple world rowing champion Tom Kay, Indoor Sport Services's Head of Education, is overseeing the introduction of the activity into all 31 School Sports Partnerships in the North East. The project was launched in the Sedgefield SSP, in which teachers from across the primary, secondary and special needs sectors have been trained to deliver the activity in a safe, fun, manner. Partnership Development Manager Diane Snowshill comments: 'There is a real feeling that this is the start of something big. The children really relate to the challenge of indoor rowing, and the teachers have all enjoyed the insight Tom has given them.'
Jeanette Pickard, chief executive of the Tony Blair Sports Foundation, adds: 'The beauty of this programme is that it creates a volunteer culture. In addition to the coaching roles the teachers undertake, Indoor Sport Services can train parents to assist them, or work with employees of local companies, who wish to give something back to their local communities.'
Indoor rowing is one of the four constituent sports of the TBSF. The other three are athletics, tennis and football.
Fitness Industry Association
Indoor Sport Services are a long-term member of the Fitness Industry, a not for profit trade association for the health and fitness sector, which consists of 5,714 health clubs and leisure centres and over 40,000 exercise professionals.
The relationship is based on a shared belief in the importance of effective community based interventions that increase levels of participation. Indoor Sport Services were also one of the original stakeholders of the Get Active Alliance, which promotes the health benefits of activity to Government, through the FIA.
The Football Foundation is the largest funder of grassroots football, and also delivers multi-sport projects involving partnerships with key delivery agencies like Indoor Sport Services. It is underpinned by a partnership between the Premier League, the Football Association and the Government, through the Department of Media Culture & Sport and Sport England.
The Foundation has five key areas of activity.
- Health and Wellbeing
- Education and lifelong learning
- Social inclusion
- Equality of access, involving women and girls, disability groups, and ethnic minority groups
- Environmental best practice
Indoor rowing is helping to build on the achievements of the Playing for Success (PfS) programme, an innovative educational initiative that operates across England and Wales. It entails setting up and running learning programmes to enhance the literacy, numeracy and ICT skills of under-achieving 9 to 14 year old pupils. These are accommodated in an ICT suite within a football club, and other sports clubs.
A successful pilot programme involving the Concept2 indoor rowers has been undertaken in the Pilgrim Centre at Plymouth Argyle FC. The machines are used as part of cross-curricular activities, which include a healthy living module.
National research studies have demonstrated that these programmes not only help to raise standards of attainment but also enhance self-esteem and self-confidence, which in turn enable the young people to become more effective learners and leaders.
Manchester United FC
Coaches in the Manchester United Football in the Community scheme have been trained in the utilisation of Concept2 rowing machines in multi-sport activities. The scheme, which comes under the auspices of the Manchester United Foundation, encourages all sectors of the community to become involved. It engaged more than 220,000 local people in 2007.
The Club has close involvement with Local Education Authorities through its in-house Education Department and the Club's Study Support Centre. This ensures that imaginative curriculum-based learning programmes and mentoring programmes are devised to encourage learning in the local school community
The rowers were well received again at Denstone. We delivered a Youth Player course for 17-18 year olds and used the rowers as part of the Football Fitness element of the course. Whilst they are not directly linked with the technical side of the game, our players did learn how to improve their speed, endurance and stamina using the rowers. We downloaded some of the training programs from your website and used some of the circuit training activities which gave them good challenge. I think they also enjoy taking their mind away from Football at times throughout the week but still keep their fitness ticking over. This kept their minds fresh for the next coaching sessionMike Neary
UK & Ireland Programme Manager
Manchester Utd Soccer Schools
The partnership between Manchester United Soccer Schools, Nike & Indoor Sport Services involves embedding exercise on the Concept2 Indoor Rower into MUSS activities as part of a long term relationship.
Children on residential, and non residential courses in the UK are the principal beneficiaries, but it is envisaged that adults attending the 'United in Business' corporate courses will eventually be given the opportunity to use Concept2 machines as part of an holistic personal development programme.
There are a broad range of benefits to the children, who attend courses across the UK:
- Development of a new skill
- Development of baseline and background fitness
- Education on the importance of cross-training in modern sport
- Awareness of Wellbeing issues, such as healthy eating
- Usage of indoor rowing machines as individual performance monitoring tools
- Individual development through self-monitoring of personal fitness
- Goal setting through Indoor Sport Services distance awards scheme
- Team challenges
- Talent identification
- Follow Up learning through the development of self-monitored personal fitness plans, applied after the course
Steve Redgrave Fund
The Steve Redgrave Trust, as it was known in its initial incarnation, provided the impetus for a ground-breaking project, undertaken primarily by the Heart of Birmingham teaching Primary Care Trust, Birmingham City Council, and Indoor Sport Services.
The Trust seed funded schemes to introduce indoor rowing into 89 inner-city schools in Birmingham, Sandwell, Glasgow and Cardiff. The PCT, utilising funding from the Choosing Health initiative, introduced indoor rowing into a further 117 schools - every secondary and primary school in their catchment area. Due to the project's success, the Council expanded the scheme to all secondary and special schools in the city.
Research identified the activity as an effective method of combating childhood obesity and inactivity. It successfully targeted traditionally reticent groups, including women, the overweight, ethnic minorities and those with physical disabilities and learning difficulties. It has also been successful in promoting community use of facilities.
The project is seen as a template for a national scheme, and is supported by Tony Blair, who has been briefed on its potential by Kevin Haywood and Amanda Pickard, from the Heart of Birmingham teaching PCT, and Helen Miles and Ray Davies, from Birmingham City Council.
Mr Blair says: 'Having met the principals involved, I can only applaud their foresight in using indoor rowing as a tool to combat childhood obesity and inactivity, and to promote the philosophy of lifelong fitness.'
A year long independent study of children involved in the Birmingham project has been conducted by the Institute of Youth Sport, under the aegis of Dr John Morris and Dr Mary Nevill. They found that Indoor Sport Services's indoor rowing programmes were safe, enjoyable, and had quantifiable health benefits.