last

Gt 1

I’ve been working for SportInspired for eight months now and have done a little of everything. From getting hundreds of eight year-olds worked up into a frenzy, to counting and inflating all 88 volleyballs we possess to check for punctures (and then painstakingly deflating them again); from recruiting primary schools to take part in a festival, to laminating endless printed numbers. I now feel I am ideally placed to pass judgement on the entire structure and layout of this strange and wonderful company.

A small amount of context: I’ve worked in a number of offices before. I’ve worked in the baffling areas of PR, news gathering, and social media, amongst others. I have also had jobs in shops and pubs, worked as an actor, as a musician and briefly as a labourer.

Given all of that, I can safely say this is perhaps the least monotonous, most varied place in which I’ve worked.

The huge range of things you can find yourself doing on any one day is always a joy. Even if on Monday you find yourself sniffing bibs to make sure they are clean enough to wear, Tuesday you could be going to meet the most exciting and unpredictable of all creatures: children. And then the following day you’ll be filling out a relatively dry (but clearly essential) risk assessment document for a leisure centre. In many ways a day at the SportInspired office is like a box of chocolates, only less bad for you.

It’s just this variety that makes working for a company of this size, and with these ambitious goals so much fun.

And – at the risk of sounding naff – fun is our biggest weapon.

Getting children to want to play sport involves us making sport fun. Getting business volunteers to join in with a primary school cheerleading routine involves us making them have so much fun they don’t feel self-conscious about shaking their bums. Getting secondary school children to adopt new leadership responsibilities works best if they think organising a team chant and waving a banner is more fun than ‘hanging out’ and ‘being cool’ (or whatever it is teenagers do these days – taking endless selfies, I presume).

And maybe the management here have pulled the same trick on me. Make me believe what I’m doing is nothing but fun, even though it’s actually work – clever swines.

Whatever the tricks going on behind the scenes to keep us motivated, they’re effective. There is a sense of genuine enthusiasm at the office and a whole host of people willing to do whatever unusual task presents itself next, all with our vision in mind, of creating communities that are connected with energy and passion, full of young people with a zest for life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and count some juggling balls.

 Pete Sorel-Cameron – Sport Inspired