Using data to help people get active

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About OpenActive

OpenActive is community-led initiative with the ambition to help people in England get active using open data.

The initiative is stewarded by the Open Data Institute (ODI), supported by Sport England, and formed by organisations and engaged individuals working within the sport and physical activity sector.

From leisure operators and local sports clubs, to National Governing Bodies and event providers, we work with organisations to open up data about physical activity opportunities for anyone to access, use, and share.

Our aim is to use data to help people get active and stimulate sector growth. By harnessing open data – that anyone can access, use and share – we are helping people around the country to discover and take part in new activities more easily, and enhancing the sector’s engagement and reach.

What Is OpenActive?

What’s the problem?

A lack of physical activity is one of Britain’s biggest public health challenges, causing 37,000 deaths annually and costing £20BN a year. Our daily lives are immersed in data-enabled services that allow seamless experiences with planning travels, managing finances, and booking leisure activities. We want to achieve the same with physical activity.

Making physical activity opportunities easier to discover and take part in requires improving access to information online and offline. Although information about physical activities is public, a gym might publish sessions on its website, a yoga studio might prefer flyers, and a bootcamp could share its timetable on social media. For someone looking for local activities, it quickly becomes a minefield, not to mention how hard it can be to maintain and share this information.

As a result, people find it hard to browse local opportunities, and services wanting to promote activities struggle to keep up.

How do you fit in?

The OpenActive community was created by a group of engaged sport and physical activity organisations, with the aim of reaching new audiences with better opportunities to get active, by harnessing data and capitalising on innovative solutions.

By joining the open data revolution, you and your organisation can benefit from OpenActive’s current aims:

  • To publish open data with an open license

  • To innovate with data to engage and grow the sector’s audience

  • To learn about data and its value through ODI-certified training

  • To create data standards for data sharing and fuelling innovation

  • To build momentum and sustainability within the sector

Open for all

Openness is integral to the OpenActive initiative

The assets we produce (standards, training, tools) and the data we publish are openly licensed, making them free for anyone to access, use, or share. The community is open for anyone to join as we believe it’s the best way to create a robust data infrastructure while ensuring people embrace this change in a sustainable way. Read more about our Digital Guiding Principles.

Who is co-ordinating OpenActive

OpenActive is co-ordinated by the Open Data Institute.

The Open Data Institute (ODI) is a not-for-profit organisation and was co-founded in 2012 by the inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and AI expert Sir Nigel Shadbolt, to address today’s global challenges using the web of data. The ODI’s responsibility as stewards of OpenActive is to co-ordinate the development of the data standards, grow the community and help organisations publish and use open opportunity data. We receive National Lottery funding from Sport England, obliging the ODI to manage the initiative to benefit the whole community above a single commercial entity. The ODI’s role is to build a community that is fair for everyone.

What's next?

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How it works

Let’s look at how we achieve our vision in practice and the progress we’ve made so far.
How it Works

Meet The Community

Meet the community

This is an open-invitation community of pioneering organisations. If you are interested in getting involved please join us to find out more. Find out all about the open active community and how you can support it.

Get involved