CAST and Sport England: Innovation and Digital Accelerator

Find out more about the Innovation and Digital Accelerator, developed by CAST as part of Sport England’s B2022 Fund.

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We’re delighted to have launched the Innovation and Digital Accelerator (IDA) as part of Sport England’s B2022 Fund. Find out more about the initiative below. If you have a question that is not covered here, please email accelerator@wearecast.org.uk

What is the Innovation and Digital Accelerator?

The Innovation and Digital Accelerator (IDA) has been developed by CAST for Sport England’s B2022 Fund. It has been designed to help National Governing Bodies (NGBs) across England harness the power and flexibility of digital and design, to help more people from more communities access and enjoy sport - during the Birmingham 2022 Games and beyond. The IDA launched in May 2022 and will continue through the Birmingham 2022 Games in July and August - and until the start of 2023.

What will participation in the IDA actually look like? 

We began in May 2022 by having one-to-ones with the key representatives from each of the 21 participating NGBs, to begin to understand their needs and expectations. As participants progress through the IDA, they will be developing new mindsets, practices and approaches - and alongside the necessary technical and design support, it is important that we act as a trusted intermediary, coach and mentor. The initial call helped us to quickly establish an effective working relationship built on trust, mutual respect and shared ambition. 

Following the one-to-ones, participants joined a four-hour online Design Hop, designed not just to provide a practical introduction to user-led, test-driven digital development approaches - but also to draw out deeper insights about specific support needs. 

The next step (in late May / early June 2022) will be a persona and user journey mapping workshop. Depending upon important characteristics such as stage of development, experience, location, social focus, learning preferences etc, we will arrange deeper assessment activities with NGBs, as well as cohort session(s) where there are common needs.

Which NGBs are involved? 

There are 21 NGBs taking part in the IDA; the full list is as below: 

  • Archery
  • Athletics (Track & Field)
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bowls
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Judo
  • Netball
  • Rugby Union
  • Shooting
  • Squash
  • Swimming (& Diving)
  • Table Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling

What goals are the NGBs working towards, via participation in the IDA?

The IDA is designed to help NGBs devise and develop innovative digital products and services to engage with under-represented groups, with a view to improving participation rates in their respective sports. Specifically, the core objectives are as below: 

  • Improve innovation and digital skills of Commonwealth sport NGBs.
  • Support NGBs with their amplification of sports participation opportunities, with a focus on under-represented groups and tackling inequalities.
  • Support NGBs to capture interest generated from existing Birmingham 2022 activation and messaging.
  • Support NGBs to use innovation and digital approaches, with a focus on testing and learning, to inform future delivery with an emphasis on inequalities.

Are there any shared resources available from the IDA? 

We will share learnings and assets as they become available - however, as part of the programme, we will be signposting participants to a number of free resources, toolkits, events and communities designed to support social impact organisations working with digital, data and design. These are freely available - we have listed them below and hope they are of use.

  • Digital Candle: One free hour of expert digital advice for nonprofit organisations
  • Digital Toolkit: 25 tools to help guide the development of a digital product or service
  • Dovetail: A directory of Tech for Good specialist digital, data and design agencies
  • Service Recipes: Practical guides on digital, written by charities for charities
  • DigiSafe: A step-by-step digital safeguarding guide, designed for charities
  • Coffee Connections: A free service connecting third sector peers for a virtual chat
  • Open working toolkit: Tools and templates designed to make open working easy
  • Design Hops: A free workshop to help charities redesign services for digital access
  • DigiShift: Monthly Zoom calls for charities, with advice on best digital practice
  • Data Collective: A community for people using data in the social sector
  • Digital Trustees: Free 30-minute board sessions, and charity / digital expert events
  • The Curve: Free 90-minute workshops on best digital practices and tools
  • Catalyst support library: 100+ free resources for charities using digital

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