Head of Sport Tech Hub Alex Zurita reflects on key moments from our podcast series Talking Sport & Tech which he presented alongside Milly Pelmore.
Alex spoke to six fantastic leaders within the physical activity and sport sector during the first series with three moments, with Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, Hana Sutch, CEO and Co-Founder of GoJauntly, and Tim Hollingsworth OBE, CEO of Sport England, standing out.
Episode 1: Huw confident of sector’s strength
Kicking off with episode one, Huw Edwards CEO of ukactive spoke about the strength and capability of the sport and physical activity sector.
Huw reflected on his role in pushing the government for more political will behind the sector, highlighting the huge amount of evidence, rich insights, and data the sector has provided around the benefits of supporting physical activity and sport.
Huw’s key quote: : “The debate is not about how much more our sector has to give the government, it’s about how much our government can give back to our sector.”
Alex says: We need to continue to tell the stories of the positive impact physical activity and sport has on the population, and how an active nation can have a tremendous effect on public health and wellbeing.
Episode 5: Hana’s biggest challenge as a founder
Another key moment for Alex from the series was episode four featuring Hana Sutch, CEO and Co-Founder of GoJauntly. During Hana’s episode, she shared that the “biggest challenge” she’s faced has been raising investment as a female founder.
This is an industry wide issue, with a 2019 report stating that UK venture capital investment levels in female founders are less than five per cent.
Hana’s key quote: “Being female, being mixed race, [raising investment] probably wasn’t in my favour.”
Alex says: Hana sharing her experiences of raising capital in this industry continues to cement the view that raising capital is very difficult, this is, unfortunately, heightened if you are a female founder or come from an ethnically diverse community.
Episode 6: An active nation first
Alex’s final highlight comes from the final episode of the series, featuring Tim Hollingsworth OBE, CEO of Sport England. Tim discussed beliefs in the sector around getting people into sport and creating an active nation.
Tim’s key quote: “We’ve historically believed that getting people playing more sport is the answer to an active nation – I actually believe the opposite is true, an active nation is the answer to getting more people into sport.”
Alex says: In London alone there are over 7 million smartphone users. The potential to influence the population of London to become more active through the use of technology is immense.
We might not be able to put 7 million sports coaches and trainers across the capital, however, we can support digital products that the population can access for free through their smartphones, to encourage Londoners to become more active.