Goodpush Member

I just saw this new (and free!) e-learning course on Utilising and developing (urban) spaces for recreational sport and physical activity, released by The International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA). 

It definitely has some useful stuff in there that applies to skate-friendly cities and skateparks:

  • Advocating for physical activity and healthy lifestyle
  • Understanding the target group and organising activities for them
  • The active urban space
  • Securing cross-sector cooperation and partnership with different stakeholders
  • Measuring the impact of the active urban space

How to be successful in advocacy?

  • Be specific about what you are advocating for! Physical activity and healthy lifestyle are huge topics – so decide and be precise about the aspects of physical activity or healthy lifestyle your project is addressing.
  • Be realistic regarding the project’s objectives in order to be taken seriously. Remember that most changes happen in small steps, so try to describe on a timeline what will happen and what the steps are towards meeting your objectives.
  • “A lone voice is not often heard” – demonstrate that you represent a larger population group or that what you will be doing is relevant to a population group that is hard to reach or a cause for concern.
  • Be original – emphasise in which way your project has a unique approach to a known problem or challenge. Don’t do it the way it has always been done.
  • Advocacy can be a mix of strategies, depending of what is required to draw attention to your cause. Dialogue with decision-makers, mobilisation of a group of people, partnerships, (online) campaigning, news articles or current debates are examples of tools for advocacy.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge regarding the target group and their current situation on the challenges your project is addressing.
  • Demonstrate the sustainability of your project in order to emphasise the its legacy.

I thought the part above was interesting (from the site linked above).

I think all of these recommendations are valuable, and some are less so. For example, being specific about what you and your group are advocating for is key... but you can often reveal the things that you don't know as opportunities to collaborate with your local government or other stake-holders.

In other words, for the things that you aren't comfortable being specific about (whether it's the size of your anticipated student body or cost to create your desired infrastructure), you can invite your audience to help you fill in those details together. It's a good way to call people in when you don't really know what you're exactly trying to do.

Being realistic is good advice but we sometimes don't know what's realistic and what's not. I would recommend advocating for what you feel your community most needs, or could most benefit from, and don't worry too much about if it's realistic or not. (Moon landings aren't realistic, yet they've been done.)

thanks for sharing :) really comes to use