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Conference 2016

Archive: BUCS Conference 2016

For Conference Content and Presentations please click here.

The BUCS Conference 2016 was held at the University of Warwick on 12th-15th July.

The conference theme was ‘Disruptive Innovation‘, challenging members to think about the way sport and physical activity is organised, managed, delivered and consumed. The sub strands of the conference included: 

Today’s Policy and Tomorrow’s Market;

Challenge and Change - Cultures and Mindsets;

The Sporting Pathway – New Routes and Directions;

Sport Technology – Changing the Game

Conference 2016 - Sports Festival

Keynote speakers at the Conference included:

Nick Pontefract, Head of Sport, DCMS

Nicola Dandridge, CEO, Universities UK

Nick Eastwood, Deputy Chairman, Wasps RFC

Mark Sampson, National Team Head Coach, England Women's Football Team

Martin Reeves, CEO, West Midlands Combined Authority

Tom Lewthwaite, Managing Partner, Deloitte

Dr Paul Hawkins OBE, Founder, Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd

Professor Greg Whyte, Director of Performance, The Centre for Health and Human Performance

Simon Shepard, Co-founder, Optima Life

Conference 2016 - HRH - UCLANBUCS was also privileged to have it's Patron, HRH Princess Royal, in attendance for the Wednesday morning - meeting a number of members and delivering a keynote address.

Other highlights of the Conference included a regional active challenge throughout the week, in partnership with Hi-Motiv and the first BUCS Conference Regional Sports Festival in partnership with Outgoing. A number of NGBs were present during the festival showcasing their recreational sporting offer to universities. Should anyone wish to find out more about the offers please contact the BUCS Sport Development team. Congratulations to the London region were crowned overall regional champions!

BUCS would like to thank all key partners and sponsors of Conference including Warwick Sport, Warwick Conferences, Kukri, Hudl, OutGoing and Technogym.

For an outline of the Conference programme and the sessions that were delivered please click here.

For an overview of the keynote speakers that presented at Conference please click here.


The BUCS Awards Dinner was held on the evening of Thursday 14th July as part of Conference. The event was hosted by David Garrido of Sky Sports News with Alan Chambers as the after dinner speaker.

A full list of the awards winners at the BUCS Awards Dinner 2016 can be found by clicking here.

Regional Challenge

London were the overall winners of the first ever BUCS Conference regional challenge.

An infographic of stats and facts from across the days can be found here

If you would like further information on HiMotiv and how they work with universities to track activity, click here.

Conference Overview

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 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.


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