Using data to help people get active

About OpenActive

How does OpenActive work?


  • Improving access to opportunity data – making data about where and when sport and physical activities happen open for anyone to access, use and share so that more places, products and services can better inform people of opportunities to get active.

  • Stimulating innovation with data to help meet people’s digital expectations – by stimulating innovation with open opportunity data, and creating products and services that use this data, in order to help people make better choices to get active and transform the way people discover and participate in relevant activities.

  • Developing open standards – in collaboration with the sector so that data about sport and physical activity opportunities is consistently described, categorised and structured. These standards aim to maximise use and compatibility for new tools, products and services designed to get people active.

  • Building data literacy within the sector – by championing data leadership, inspiring transformation and change across organisations, and strengthening the practical capability of sport and physical activity organisations to work with open data

  • Working collaboratively to evoke change across the sector – for a digitally-driven and better-connected future in the sector enabled by better data sharing and access to open opportunity data. Including establishing a sense of shared ownership within the sector to ensure the OpenActive initiative is self-governing and truly sustainable.

Who runs the OpenActive initiative?

OpenActive is a community-led initiative across the sport and physical activity sector. This means every OpenActive member – open to join – plays a part in progressing its vision “using data to help people get active” and shares ownership of its progress and achievements.

There’s a diverse range of organisations and people in the OpenActive community growing each month. From, influential bodies such as National Governing Bodies, County Sports Partnerships and local councils, large activity providers like leisure operators, individual groups like outdoor fitness classes, data service providers like platforms and booking systems, individual advocates, mass participation event providers and more. You can browse the full list of members.

Through lottery funding awarded by Sport England, the Open Data Institute stewards the initiative, driving engagement across the sector, building data literacy, collaboratively developing open data standards, stimulating innovation with startups and leading the initiative’s events and communications. The current funding phase is between November 2017 - November 2018.

Will the ODI steward OpenActive forever?

No. In order for the initiative to become a success, it needs to be self-sustaining and driven by various parts of the sector itself. The ODI aims to provide the knowledge, tools and foundation for open ‘opportunity’ data to thrive independently. Beyond its stewardship role, the ODI will continue to play a collaborative role as an active OpenActive member.

With this future in mind, all tools, documentation, and material have been built by the ODI and OpenActive members with community-led sustainability and maintenance in mind.

About OpenActive Data

Does the data contain private or personal data?

It does not include personal data about customers, or commercially restricted data such as data about participation levels.

On occasion, it may include personal data about an individual fitness instructor’s name and contact details that have been provided for the purpose of booking or querying activities they offer.

How can I follow the initiative’s progress?

Start by following us on Twitter. We’ll be sharing details about our OpenActive Accelerator at every stage, from the calls for applications to the programme itself. And we promise you’ll hear all about our mentors and open opportunity data too.

Where can I find out more about the data that’s available?

Explore the API status dashboard regularly. Our team is talking to activity providers on a daily basis so expect to see the list of open opportunity data growing all the time.

OpenActive Accelerator

What is this accelerator about?

The OpenActive Accelerator establishes ready-to-market startups using open data to develop digital products and services that help people get active.

The accelerator provides training, mentorship, access to funding and perks within the ODI, Sport England and external partner networks. It also gives access to open data about physical activity opportunities made open for the first time by OpenActive members such as Greenwich Leisure Limited, Lawn Tennis Association and British Cycling.

I like the idea of being a mentor. What would I be doing?

Our mentors advise closely aligned startups in person and remotely. We’d love to hear from you. Send us your details and we’ll be in touch.

Who can I contact if I need to ask any questions?

Contact Lisa Ellwood, OpenActive Accelerator Programme Manager.

I want to publish open data for the accelerator. Where do I start?

Contact [email protected] with any questions you have. A member of the ODI’s OpenActive engagement team will get back to you shortly to help you work towards publishing data.

What is the expected commitment from startups

Before the OpenActive Accelerator begins on 1st May 2018, we’ll agree on a work plan. The agreement between each startup and OpenActive includes milestones and success criteria, as well as a review plan. The applicant must provide the documentation required to finalise acceptance onto the programme and return a signed contract by the required date. A detailed schedule will be sent out in due time.

Startups will be mentored by OpenActive partners and external advisers in addition to the support from the ODI and Sport England. During the six months, the applicant will be asked to provide regular updates on their progress. In particular, they will be invited to attend specific events, as well as one or two review meetings (in-person) at key milestones in their project.

OpenActive Community

Using Open Opportunity Data

Publishing Open Opportunity Data