BUCS 2016, Disruptive innovation, opportunities for HE sport

The annual British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Conference, will be held at the University of Warwick from 12th to the 15th July

The event, which moves across the country to a different university each year, will bring together some 500 delegates – most staff from BUCS’s 170 member universities from across the UK.

Each year, the conference adopts a different theme and attracts a range of high profile keynote speakers, whilst also staging workshops for university staff to develop. The annual BUCS Awards dinner is also held in conjunction with the conference.

In 2016, the theme of “Disruptive Innovation: Opportunities for HE Sport” has been adopted.

Sport in Higher Education is a multifaceted and needs to be proactive and innovative if we are to stay ahead in the game. Disruptive Innovation challenges the norm and encourages organisations to think differently – introducing new technologies, products or services in an effort to promote change and gain advantage. The catalysts can come from within – university strategies, student demands, customer expectations or externally from Government policy, societal change and technological advancements. For HE Sport to secure its position and profile within the sports industry and provide a relevant and customer focused offer it must think innovatively.

In January this year the DCMS released its new ‘Sporting Future’ strategy and we are keen to understand what the strategy means for the UK sporting landscape, HE Sport and our partners at local, regional and national level. How can we be innovative and look at these opportunities with a new perspective?

Professional Sport and High Performance Sport are leading the way in change, not only in their relationships with athletes, sponsors and coaches but also their organisational structures and management. What can universities learn from this and how can we build and strengthen partnerships? 

Sport and physical activity is a key part of the student experience and one which more are opting to take part in, whether as casual participant, team player or performance athlete. Universities are constantly reviewing and adapting to ensure facilities, programmes, and staffing meet today’s needs within financial constraints while trying to plan for the future. But what will the HE sector look like and can we be creative and competitive for students of tomorrow?

Integral to all of this is technology and its impact across all disciplines and areas of sport is significant and rapidly changing.  We need to ensure we utilise the potential of technology, whether in relation to management information, athlete performance data, playing surfaces, lighting options, equipment design or social media.

This year’s conference theme ‘Disruptive Innovation‘ will challenge members to think about the way sport and physical activity is organised, managed, delivered and consumed. The sub themes of conference include; 

•           Today’s Policy and tomorrow’s market;
•           Challenge and Change – cultures and mind sets;
•           The sporting pathway – new routes and directions;
•           Sport Technology – Changing the game

All full delegates and day delegate passes are now sold out. 

The BUCS 2016 conference takes place at the University of Warwick on the 12th-15th July.

For more information, including detailed daily programme of sessions and keynote speakers, visit the BUCS website.

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