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GOGA celebrates investing in happiness at annual conference

On Wednesday 25 September, Get Out Get Active (GOGA) hosted its fourth annual conference in Manchester. The day brought together local and national GOGA partners to celebrate investing in happiness.

Room of attendees at GOGA conference.

The conference saw everyone come together to celebrate creating healthier, happier more active and connected communities through embracing the GOGA approach. Inclusion is at the heart of GOGA and ensures that disabled and non-disabled people can be active together in fun and inclusive ways.

Activity Alliance Deputy CEO, Andy Dalby-Welsh, welcomed attendees and opened up proceedings by setting the theme for the day; investing in happiness.

Attendees enjoyed a full programme of listening to personal stories, engaging in themed discussions and even had the opportunity to try out some boxing moves, led by Nottingham’s Golden Gloves initiative.

GOGA Nottingham participant, who now volunteers, Bill Chambers, and coach Gary Bulmer, who runs Strelley Amateur Boxing, led the activity. They both then took to the stage for the first round of discussions. They both spoke about the impact GOGA has had on them and the important dynamics between a coach and participant.

Gary and Bill demonstrating boxing movesRound two saw Simon Tanner, from Wavehill, then lead an interactive session that brought to life the impact and learning from GOGA over the past three years. Round three consisted of a partner panel, which saw all four home nation GOGA partners share key learnings from their regions and their greatest successes of embedding the GOGA approach.

Key takeaways from both discussions highlighted the key motivators for being active, this includes having fun and meeting new people. And the significant growth in sustainable activities across GOGA’s home nations since adopting the GOGA approach.

Kat Southwell, Head of Programmes at Activity Alliance, said

“It was a great to see the conference bring together our partners, and key stakeholders to celebrate the success of GOGA. The day really brought home the fantastic impact that has been achieved by our local and national partners.
“We've learnt a huge amount to date and want to share and continue to learn from others in being more effective at reaching the least active.”

In the afternoon, attendees got ready for round four and took part in workshops that discussed great sustainable practice and the legacy of GOGA.

Attendees taking part in workshops

Alex Johnston, National Grant and Learning Manager for Spirit of 2012, brought the conference to a close by reinforcing the investing in happiness theme. He thanked all partners for their passion and commitment to creating healthier, happier more active and connected communities through the GOGA approach.

Alex said:

“It’s been great to see all partners come together to celebrate the success of GOGA. First and foremost, GOGA has always been about people and what people want in their communities. Today has shown this has been a massive success.
“After four years of the programme it’s great to still see the GOGA approach living on through our partners.
“The message I want to leave with everyone today is: keep up the good work. We’ve achieved great impact already and I’m looking forward to continue to investing in happiness together.”

Catch up on all the best bits from the GOGA Conference on Twitter

For more information about the GOGA programme please visit the GOGA website, or contact one of the team by emailing goga@activityalliance.org.uk or call 01509 227750.