New York Road Runners is a non-profit organization based in New York, USA. Their mission is to give everyone on the planet both a reason to run and the means and opportunity to keep running and never stop. New York Road Runners impacts the lives of nearly 600,000 people annually, from New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs to runners around the world, through a wide variety of events and programs for people of all ages and abilities. They believe running takes your mind, body, and spirit to a better place.
Judith Sambil, Rising Runners Program Lead
A: As a Rising Runners program lead, I work with 10 groups of coaches who have limited coaching experience in running. I am also not a professional running coach and do this in conjunction with my other job, so needed a program that I could guide our instructors on lesson planning in a simple, time-effective way while still maintaining the quality of coaching that we desired as an organization.
A: Lesson Plans has been the best feature because I have the ability to make them quickly based on a bank of activities and distribute them to coaches with a link or PDF in short timelines.
A: If it weren’t for PLAYBuilder, my program would not exist in the way it does. The consistency and communication with coaches has been key to minimize staff turnover and has led to more time availability for our coaches and myself.
A: I am in control of the lesson plan content and send these out to our coaches prior to each training. This gives them a summary of what to do and say and keeps things simple for our large organization.
Moresports is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC with the vision of creating an active, inclusive and enriched life for children and youth, irrespective of ability to pay or play, within the diverse communities of a city. Moresports creates, facilitates and promotes recreation, sport and leadership development experiences for children and youth through a city-wide network of community partners. They believe that every kid has the right to play and sports is the most accessible activity that brings community together.
Cynthia Lee, Coordinator
A: A year ago, Moresports had 11 hubs all across Vancouver and had no capacity to share resources centrally. There were issues of being able to train staff on what and how to coach the basic fundamentals of sport to their children. Needing something to keep all their training resources available, Moresports came on board with PLAYBuilder.
A: The centralized database and sharing ability of PLAYBuilder has been invaluable to the staff at Moresports. Being able to share across 11 different organizations has helped the most in streamlining lesson planning and fundamental training.
A: PLAYBuilder has helped us in saving time during our staff onboarding. The ability to save lesson plans and activities and use those from year to year has helped us immensely as we transition new staff between our 11 Vancouver hubs. In the long-term we believe PLAYBuilder will also help us save money in that our updating of lesson planning content and staff turnover will be minimal.
A: We started with a trial of rolling out PLAYBuilder in 3 sites from spring until September last year. The program worked well and so we decided to then expand it to the managers at our other 8 hubs across Vancouver from September to March. We are aiming to roll it out to our high school volunteers in September this year and believe it will work well due to the simplicity of PLAYBuilder's user interface. This methodical roll-out process has worked well for our organization thus far.
Halifax Municipality Recreation works to better the Halifax community through recreation information and offerings. Their mission is to give everyone in Halifax the opportunity to participate in sport through their various programming options from swimming to skating, kayaking summer camps and more.
Damion Stapledon, Community Recreation Coordinator
A: HRM chose the Playbuilder because we helped to design it with municipal recreation in mind. We wanted “one-stop” shopping for our staff to be able to build lesson plans, built from vetted activities, that were developmentally appropriate. This did not exist until the Playbuilder was created.
A: The media component has been essential for us. Seeing a video of a drill is great for staff to understand it. We have also used it to show the kids/participants what the drill is. Adaptation has also been a key feature for Halifax Municipality Recreation. Although it has yet to be set up for some activities – the potential is phenomenal. At a touch of a button you can make an exclusive activity, am inclusive activity.
A: We are estimating that the Playbuilder will save hours of planning heading into our first full summer with the platform. Staff are adding arts and crafts activities, lunch breaks etc, into the lesson plan. These can be saved for years. Currently we are still using papers. We have binders of previous lessons plans that get lost or that outdated. The real time benefit will be seen a few years down the road when they are many save lessons plans that staff can simply save to their device for the day/week. The saving in time will go from days to hours, maybe even minutes. It estimated that current HRM Summer Rec staff spend 21 hours (3 days) on lesson plans. We are estimating that the time could be cut in half. This would result in a savings of over $40,000 for the year for our organization.
A: Training took place during our High 5 and/or FMS courses. It aligned nicely with philosophies and requirements of the curriculum.
Athletics Australia is the national governing body for athletics (track and field, running, and race walking) in Australia. The Athletics Australia Growth and Development Department is responsible for leading a range of functions, including workforce training and development, program design, and program delivery in areas such as schools. Adam Bishop is the General Manager of Growth and Development and has been working with Sport for Life to utilise the PLAYBuilder platform to support Athletics Australia’s work in delivering quality programs. Adam and the Athletics Australia Growth and Development team are passionate about providing positive experiences and environments for participants and opportunities for kids to develop physical literacy so that they can be active for life.
Adam Bishop, General Manager of Growth and Development
A: Through the Australian Government’s Sporting Schools program, Athletics Australia delivers just under 1000 athletics programs to 110,000 children in schools across Australia each year, utilising more than 200 accredited coaches. Kids’ Athletics makes up the majority of these programs. In late 2019, we also piloted a physical literacy focussed program as an extension of Kids’ Athletics that was delivered in the community setting. Alongside this, we’d also previously completed some research in partnership with La Trobe University and Sport Australia which demonstrated that Kids’ Athletics helped children develop across all four domains (physical, psychological, social, and cognitive) of the Australia Physical Literacy Standard.
Since the inception of these programs, the content for the 8 week Kids’ Athletics program has been provided to deliverers in the form of large PDF manuals. These manuals were fine for viewing on desktop computers or laptops, but were impractical for taking out in the field to support program delivery. We wanted to provide coaches with the ability to access the content via a phone or tablet wherever they were delivering with the view that this would improve program delivery and coach effectiveness to enhance the experience and learning outcomes for participants. In order to address this challenge, we were exploring the development of an app or mobile response platform to provide access to the program content to coaches when they were out delivering the program.
A:We recognise the importance of program content being delivered as intended and for participants to have a great experience. We also want to ensure that our coaches (and teachers) are supported in the delivery of their programs no matter where they are delivering. Having program content, including information on instructional cues, equipment, and safety, along with supporting visuals (images and video) of how the activities operate available to deliverers out in the field will help us support coaches to provide high quality and effective programs.
A: Our original intention was to develop an app or web-based mobile responsive platform to house and serve the content to coaches via their smart phone or tablet. We knew this would be a challenging project, but it was something we thought would be beneficial in helping us achieve our program outcomes and to provide ongoing support to coaches after they had completed the online program upskilling.
A: I (Adam) had been following the work of Sport for Life via the regular newsletters and whilst we were considering the development of the app, I came across PLAYBuilder. I explored the platform’s functionality and realised that it very closely matched what we were intending to build. Given the complexities and the cost associated with building an app for what we required, I reached out to Sport for Life to enquire about the opportunity to potentially license a white label version of PLAYBuilder that we could develop our content in.
A: We would have pressed ahead with the development of an app or web-based platform. We would have probably arrived at a similar solution, but it would have been significantly more expensive, would have been very time consuming, and would have likely had significantly less functionality. Building this type of platform ourselves would have also resulted in significantly longer lead time in releasing the content in this form to our coaches.
A: We intend to provide licenses on an as needed basis to our accredited coaches and teachers in schools who have undergone the online program delivery upskilling. In this way, we can control access to the content and ensure that those who have access to the program content are accredited and appropriately trained in the delivery of the program content.
A: It was a really positive experience for us. Like many organisations across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had seen us take some difficult decisions as an organisation around staffing. This particularly impacted the Growth and Development team with most of the staff on reduced hours. We had hoped to use the pandemic period as an opportunity to build this content in PLAYBuilder, but with work volumes remaining relatively unchanged and with reduced staffing levels, we didn’t have the human resource capacity to devote to populating the content in PLAYBuilder. Engaging the Sport for Life team to do this work for us, particularly with their knowledge of the system, was a very efficient way to quickly build the content in PLAYBuilder and have the program content ready to deploy. It also allowed us to easily build in the Australian Health and Physical Education Curriculum content descriptors that had been mapped against the program content.
A: Given the current restrictions and uncertainty in Australian schools with programs like Sporting Schools at present, we have delayed the deployment of PLAYBuilder until term 4 (October 2020). We believe PLAYBuilder will make it easier for us to provide access to and control the distribution of the program content to our workforce, as well as improving the effectiveness of our coaches by providing easy access to the program content no matter where they are delivering to kids across Australia.
A: If you’re looking to digitise your content to make it more usable and accessible and improve its look and feel, then PLAYBuilder may be a suitable solution. If you’re looking to build a bespoke platform to distribute your content, given the time and cost associated with doing this, PLAYBuilder is definitely worth exploring as part of your thinking.