Community 24.10.17

VSG visit Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park to learn about the positive impact of sport on society

The Vereniging Sport en Gemeenten (VSG) is the platform in the Netherlands for the development and positioning of sport and physical activity as ‘a binding element in society’.
The association is nationally recognised and appreciated as a knowledge platform existing of governments, not-for-profit organisations and business members. The knowledge, experience and innovative developments generated from this network are of high quality and progressive.
David Hobson, Project Director for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said: “We are extremely proud to have been selected as part of the VSG’s 2017 study trip.
“The VSG choose a different destination every year to study how sport and physical activity can positively impact society, and our project was chosen as an example of how sport can act as a tool for social cohesion and improve disadvantaged city areas.
“The delegates were interested to learn about sport innovations, physical activities in relation to health and care, innovative physical activity concepts in schools, and use of public spaces for things like urban sports, running tracks and outdoor fitness areas.
“As the landscaping of the Park has just been completed, their visit was perfectly timed.”
Richard Caborn, Project Lead of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, welcomed the delegation with an overview of the Park and the long term aims of the project. Following this, Dr David James, Director of Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Sports Engineering Research, provided an insight into the work carried out with Team GB on ‘Innovation for Olympic and Paralympic success’ and Sam Perkins, Business Development Director of Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre spoke about the plans for the Centre and the collaborative approach with research partners.
In the afternoon the group toured the English Institute of Sport Sheffield, iceSheffield and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
David continued: “We hosted approximately 50 delegates from the VSG, including a mix of local government officials and company representatives.
“Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is a shining example of how bodies, public and private, can work collaboratively to make a real difference, and we were proud to share our knowledge, experience and vision with the VSG.”
Since 2007 the VSG has visited, amongst others, London, Switzerland, Istanbul, Rome, Stuttgart, Edinburgh and Budapest.
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is developing in the east end of Sheffield and is the home to a collection of health, sport and education facilities.
Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) will be the most advanced research and development centre for physical activity in the world, creating ‘innovations to improve health’ in sport, healthcare, physical activity and leisure.
Sam Perkins, Business Development Director of Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, commented: “Sheffield Hallam University is becoming renowned for its expertise in health, sport and physical activity through our work with elite athletes for the London and Rio Olympics, international sporting bodies such as FIFA as well as our local communities to help improve performance and reduce sedentary behaviour.
“We were extremely honoured to showcase our innovative work to VSG and share our plans to develop the most advanced research centre for physical activity in the world on Sheffield’s Olympic Legacy Park.”
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park has also played host to visits from delegates representing Kawasaki City, the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chinese Olympic Committee and the China Institute of Sport Science.
Upcoming visits include the Japanese Ambassador to the UK who will be touring the site in November.