The Active Recovery Hub: A Rapid Response to Post-Lockdown Physical Activity Needs

In just six weeks, a collaborative effort led to the launch of a resource hub, uniting over 50 sports organisations to support schools and families with engaging physical activities.

Youth Sport Trust

3 mins read

Young boy playing sports

The outcomes

The background

A broad variety of organisations offer rich content to support teachers and families in encouraging sport and physical activity, something that has been more important than ever as children and young people returned to school following lockdown and school closures.

However, this content is scattered across a wide range of websites and apps. Enter the Active Recovery Hub - a one-stop shop where teachers and families can easily find a diverse range of sports and physical activity resources.

Working with a six-week window

On the face of it, creating a content hub is straightforward. But the tight timeline meant that we had to get creative. We had a week to plan our approach and define how we would capture content from over 50 sports organisations, ready for the Youth Sport Trust (YST) to share this at a meeting with sports National Governing Bodies and the Dept for Culture Media & Sport. And we had to be ready to go live on 19th April, the start of the summer, giving us just shy of 6 weeks from start to finish.

Capturing data from 50 organisations

Our first priorities were to create a prototype and timeline for YST to present to their funders and partners, and to agree on the best mechanism for collating and structuring the activity resources and content.

We asked sports organisations - from The FA to the Badminton Association - to fill out a short form to tell us who their activity was suitable for, how long it would take, what equipment was required, and what format it was in.

Having recently worked on a Wagtail-Airtable integration for The Motley Fool, we knew Airtable would be a solid potential option to investigate. A quick proof-of-concept demonstrated that we could create the form needed to share and crucially, that this could be ready to circulate almost immediately. By using Airtable they could also directly attach images and PDFs.

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The build

Over 10,000 schools already regularly visit School Games, a Wagtail platform and custom application we built for YST, so this was the ideal home for the new hub.

To move at pace we opted for 1-week long development sprints, allowing us to regularly share progress with YST and pivot as needed. Daily stand-ups, as well as weekly demos and planning, helped us to make quick decisions and kept us accountable as a team.

While YST and Sport England shared the Airtable form with sports organisations across the sector to collate their resources, we got to work building the page structure in Wagtail. Each row in Airtable would be imported as a draft page that gives users the key information about the activity resource and either a link or direct download to access it.

We reused existing styles from the School Games site to create a listing page and resource pages, and YST used Wagtail’s moderation workflow to check all the content and publish.

We were able to soft launch four days before the link was sent out by the Department for Education on the first day of term.

The results

Since going live, the Active Recovery hub has had over 27,000 page views, with over 4,300 downloads or clicks through to access resources

Next steps

Our work extended the existing Wagtail-Airtable functionality with the addition of handling file uploads and creating a one-way integration, rather than synchronising data in both places. These are changes that will be shared in the Wagtail-Airtable library for others to use and benefit from.

As well as adding new content to the hub every week, we’re also working on more comprehensive tracking and reporting. As we learn more about how users engage with the existing content. Youth Sport Trust will work with partners to create new content and develop the Active Recovery hub into an evergreen resource for sports and physical activity in schools.

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Natalie Baker

Product Director