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Industry leaders identify key issues at active-net 2014

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More than 140 UK health and fitness industry figures gathered at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry last week to do business, debate and network at the inaugural active-net conference – organised by Leisure-net Solutions.

Kicking off with a keynote speech, ukactive chair Fred Turok encouraged the sector to work more closely with local health practitioners to promote activity initiatives and stressed the need to persistently make the financial case for better public health.

The theme of making substantial and tangible changes continued throughout the two-day event, with CIMSPA’s interim chief operating officer Tara Dillon stressing the urgent need to invest in staff. Dillon said were the people who would truly drive physical activity forward, adding: “It’s about time we forged one agenda, and actually did some of that joined-up thinking we’ve been talking about for years.”

The active-net networking dinner featured presentations from former-world karate champion and Youth Charter founder Geoff Thompson, as well as elite athletics international starter Alan Bell. Delegates at the dinner raised £800 – a sum matched by active-net – for Thompson's charity, which aims to provide personal development opportunities for young people through sport, art and culture.

“Feedback has been exceptionally positive – everyone loved the mixture of educational seminars and workshops combined with focused one-to-one buyer supplier meetings,” said Leisure-net joint director and active-net organiser Mike Hill. “What has been evident is how passionate everyone is about this industry and how great the force for change is. We hope delegates left active-net 2014 with the tools to make those changes happen.”

Next year's active-net has already been confirmed and will take place on 29 and 30 April at a venue to be announced later this year.

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More than 140 UK health and fitness industry figures gathered at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry last week to do business, debate and network at the inaugural active-net conference – organised by Leisure-net Solutions.
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