Following the launch of Jersey Sport’s Safe and Sustainable Quality Standards Dan Andrade caught up with Sports Partnership Officer Libby Barnett about her experiences within sport, exactly what the new launch is all about and her future goals whilst working for Jersey Sport.
Catch the full interview below!
Tell us a bit about you and your sports background growing up!
I’ve always immersed myself in as much sport as possible, be it playing, coaching, spectating or volunteering my time to help develop the sports I am passionate about. I’m a huge advocate for the physical, mental and social benefits of sport and being active, so my spare time reflects that ethos! Sport was always my favourite subject at school growing up, so I pursued this route to study sport at university and feel privileged to now work in sport as a full-time job.
What sports do you enjoy playing currently?
I’m still playing and coaching football at my club Jersey Wanderers FC, where I’ve called home for the last 22 years! It’s been an honour to represent the island at Murattis and Island Games over the years, and give something back by coaching within the JFA PDC. I used to enjoy playing league hockey and netball, but now focus on running and CrossFit.
How long have you been at Jersey Sport?
I’m relatively new to the organisation, having joined the Sport Team in September 2021. It’s fantastic to see the growth of investment and resources going into sport and physical activity on-island, and to understand the work that goes on behind the scenes to contribute to our mission: “more active people for a healthier island” and to help increase physical activity in Jersey by 10%, by 2030.
Tell us more about your role of ‘Sports Partnership Officer’?
As sport in Jersey is largely run by volunteers, it is Jersey Sport’s responsibility, as the leading body for sport in the island, to support these sports organisations to grow and develop their sporting offer to Islanders. My role is to help these sports organisations (clubs, associations, groups and sport charities) to operate safely and sustainably and to have a strategic plan in place that guides their development. With the launch of our Safe and Sustainable Quality Standards, I’ll be working closely with sports organisations to bring this to life, focusing on areas like broadening their demographic reach, improving the organisation’s governance, diversifying committees, upskilling their sports workforce, enhancing their marketing efforts, and so on.
What would you say is they key aspect of your job?
Relationship building and relationship management. The core of what we do is working with sport volunteers who have busy lives outside of sport. As a volunteer myself, I know how precious time is and how much time is demanded by volunteering roles, so a key element of my work is to support this workforce in their roles and help to make their jobs as easy as possible.
How much do you enjoy being hands on and involved in different sports and clubs?
It’s my favourite part of the role! I’ve always loved working with people, so it’s great to be able to combine this with my passion for sport. Being able to support sports organisations on the ground to develop and enhance their offer is a great opportunity, and I’m looking forward to seeing how sport transforms over the coming years.
Jersey Sport’s Safe and Sustainable Quality Standards have just launched on the Jersey Sport website – tell us more about that?
This is a huge piece of work that has been developing behind the scenes throughout 2021. It’s evolved from the old accreditation schemes like ClubMark into a developmental resource for sports organisations to continuously check themselves against. Some organisations are already working above and beyond these quality standards, and some are just starting out on their journey, but Safe and Sustainable Quality Standards will provide a hub of resources, training and support to help all organisations in sport or physical activity keep developing and growing. The main aim of the Safe and Sustainable Quality Standards is to improve the overall quality of sport on-island, to build a foundation for all sports to grow, and to ensure both users and deliverers of sport have high quality experiences.
What are your current and long-term goals as part of Jersey Sport?
I can’t wait to start working with local sports organisations towards the Safe and Sustainable Quality Standards, and to assist in incorporating these goals into their strategic sport plans. Supporting sports to enhance their offer isn’t a small task, but with the combined resources that Jersey Sport can now offer, and a joined up approach from key stakeholders, sport on island is set to reach new levels over the coming years. It’s exciting to be a part of it all!
You can find out more about Jersey Sport’s Safe and Sustainable Sport, check out the quality standards, training and resource bank on their website: https://bit.ly/JSSafeandSustainable