Rounders England continues to do some fantastic work helping the game to develop and enjoyed a successful year in 2017. Sport in Profile Magazine recently caught up with their Development Director Dan Newton to find out more about the work they’ve been doing lately.
SIP: How long have you been involved and what first attracted you to Rounders England?
DN: 6 years. I joined Rounders in 2011 after working in county sports partnerships with governing bodies of sport. I have enjoyed the transition to NGB’s and I have loved the work that I have been a part of in this role.
SIP: What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your role?
DN: It is sometimes a challenge to prioritise and give adequate focus to the things that we are passionate about, limited resources and restrictions in funding mean that we have to say no a lot.
The most rewarding part is seeing the enjoyment that Rounders gives to the people who play, listening to how the lives of real people have been changed and been positively impacted by the sport.
SIP: How’s the general mood down there at the moment?
DN: Optimistic, positive and ambitious. The whole sport sector is evolving and we see a great opportunity for Rounders to help the inactive become active, the mass market become more resilient and the core market maintain their participation.
SIP: How would you say 2017 has gone for you?
DN: 2017 was a year of transition where we moved from our 2013-2017 strategy to our 2017-2021 strategy. We welcomed a new chair and made progress within each of our strategic pillars; commerciality, profile and customers.
SIP: What are your plans for 2018?
DN: In 2017, we conducted a review of competition; initially this was an analysis of the Rounders player and challenged us to explore their reasons for playing and the amount of time/money they spend on playing.
From these insights we have designed a series of competitions that will be piloted in 2018/19; the competitions targeted at league players centre on broadening social circle and fun as well as team spirit and winning. Within the school setting we are also focussed on fun, team spirit and winning but also developing that sense of independence.
SIP: What do you think has been behind your success?
DN: Rounders is a simple game and evokes great nostalgia from playing within childhood. It presents great value to the participant and is accessible for all levels of ability and age.
SIP: What are your ambitions over the coming years?
DN: It is our intention to deliver a programme of competition to excite all types of Rounders participant, from the evangelist who plays regularly throughout the year and returns every season to the tryer or passive participant who is more opportunist about how they play.
As an organisation we are looking for competition to give us a return on each of the three strategic pillars we are committed to; increasing awareness (profile), generating income (commerciality) and improving experience (customers).