Marjon News

Spotlight on Plymouth's Sporting Future

Released: 20.02.15

Andrew Edwards Sport Summit

The future of sport in Plymouth was on the agenda at an influential summit hosted by the University.

The Plymouth City Sport Summit brought together the UK’s leading experts and sportspeople to share their experience and drive forward a winning strategy for the city.

Organised in partnership with Plymouth City Council and supported by the Plymouth Sports Board, partners worked together to discuss a city-wide plan for sport which supports the Plymouth Plan, looking ahead to 2031.

Throughout the day over 60 guests engaged with keynote speakers to debate issues around sport performance, participation and health and wellbeing. The outcomes of which will feed into the plan to support future generations.

In her welcome speech, University of St Mark & St John Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cara Aitchison, said:

"The goal for us all today is to lay the foundations for the development of a strategic joined-up approach to sport that enables us to unleash Plymouth’s potential: the potential of individuals, families, communities and of our whole city.

"In doing so we can help to tackle many of the issues identified last year by Plymouth’s Fairness Commission while also addressing the economic growth priorities identified by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and those of the new Plymouth Plan.

"We can support our city to achieve; whether through winning medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics or attracting people to live and work here because we can offer an outstanding quality of life."

Professor Nanette Mutrie from the University of Edinburgh said: "Universities have an important role in research and education to demonstrate the health benefits of exercise and sport. And we need to promote more than sport; walking to school, good cycle lanes and good parks for children to play in all form an important part."

There was active discussion online too, with tweets from sportspeople and organisations feeding into the debate using the hashtag #plymsportsummit, which reached over 133,000 people.

Keynote speakers were Joel Brookfield from Sport England, Jon Rudd, Head Coach of the England Swimming Team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Professor Nanette Mutrie from the University of Edinburgh, Professor Mike Weed from Canterbury Christ Church University, Billy Garrett from Glasgow City Council and Dr Larissa Davies from Sheffield Hallam University.


Keynote Speakers     


Joel Brookfield

Strategic Lead Local Outreach (South) Sport England

Joel Brookfield is currently the Strategic Lead Local Relationships for the South of England. He is responsible for Sport England's work with local partners such as local government, county sports partnerships, local leisure trusts and operators across London, the South East and South West.

Joel has worked for Sport England since 2006 in a variety of roles including strategy development and developing the £47.5m Community Sport Activation Fund.

Prior to joining Sport England Joel worked in a variety of government roles both in the UK and overseas. In his spare time Joel is a keen rugby referee for the London Society of Rugby Football Union Referees. 


Jon Rudd

Head Coach of the England Swimming Team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Jon Rudd is an internationally renowned, high performance swimming coach. He studied at the University of St Mark & St John (formerly the College of St Mark & St John) and is currently the Head Coach of Plymouth Leander Swimming and Director of Swimming at Plymouth College.

He has served as the Head Coach of the Senior Great Britain team and had four athletes compete for four different nations at the 2012 Olympic Games, including Ruta Meilutyte who won the Olympic 100m Breaststroke title. Ruta went on to break three world records in 2013.

Jon Rudd also coaches Ben Proud, double Commonwealth Games Champion and men’s 50m butterfly British record holder. He has coached swimmers to success at Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European levels.


Professor Nanette Mutrie MBE

Director of the Centre for Physical Activity for Health, University of Edinburgh

Nanette Mutrie is Chair of Physical Activity for Health at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where she is Director of the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre. She is also a visiting Professor at both the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow and the University of Ulster.

Nanette is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and has extensive experience of conducting interventions aimed at increasing physical activity. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

She has contributed to policy, for example, ‘Let’s make Scotland more active’ and the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) programmes on physical activity and the environment including the promotion of walking and cycling []. Nanette was awarded an MBE in the UK New Year’s Honours list 2015 for services to physical activity for health.


Professor Mike Weed

Director of the Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research (SPEAR), Canterbury Christ Church University

Professor Mike Weed is Professor of Applied Policy Sciences and Head of the School of Human and Life Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University.  Drawing on a wide range of social science disciplines, including social psychology, sociology, economics, geography and policy science, his work has focussed on interrogating, informing and improving policy in the applied domains of public health, physical activity, physical education, sport, tourism, transport, urban development and major events.

Mike is Strategic Director of the Centre for Sport, Physical Education & Activity Research (SPEAR), Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sport & Tourism (Routledge), Editor of the SAGE Library of Sport & Leisure Management, and sits on the Editorial Boards of Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health (Routledge) and Psychology of Sport & Exercise (Elsevier).  His work has been funded by, among others, the Department of Health, the NHS, the Youth Sport Trust, UK Sport and Sport England.


Billy Garrett

Sports Operations Manager, Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council

Billy Garrett is Head of Sport for Glasgow Life.  His main role is to develop a strategic direction for Sport and Events in partnership with local and national agencies to improve participation and performance in sport and physical activity.

The sports portfolio across the City of Glasgow consists of 32 sports venues with 850 staff and includes venues such as The Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Scotstoun Sports Campus which is home to The Glasgow Warriors, and Tollcross International Swimming Centre. The Sport Portfolio also includes the management of Glasgow Life’s Health and Fitness and Active Health agendas which includes the Glasgow Club - Scotland’s largest fitness club - and significant partnerships with the NHS and Glasgow Housing Association designed to increase participation in physical activity across Glasgow.

A graduate of Glasgow University, Billy has worked across arts venues, community facilities and sport facilities in an operational management capacity. Some of his previous posts include Operations Manager at The Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and Business and Public Relations Manager at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.


Dr Larissa Davies

Sport Industry Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Larissa Davies is a Reader in Sport Management at Sheffield Hallam University. She has over 15 years' experience teaching and researching in sport and geography.  Larissa currently works in the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC), leading research projects for a variety of clients including local and national government, event organisers and national governing bodies. 

Larissa has a PhD in sports economics and specialises in the area of sport, events and urban regeneration.  She has a particular interest in the role of sport in economic development and regeneration; the economic and social impact and legacy of sport and events; and the tangible and intangible impact of sports and she has published widely around these themes. 

Larissa is currently working on two research projects relating to the wider value of sport to society.  The first is a national project on the Social Return of Investment in Sport (SROI) and the second is research focusing on the development of a measurement framework for the Sport for Development sector.


 2015 - Plymouth City Sport Summit Programme





Back to Marjon News