Sports Office data security & quality management receive ISO certification

The Sports Office has achieved the internationally recognised ISO certification for both data security and quality management, when building its performance management systems for elite sport.

Both ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 have been awarded to the company by the British Assessment Bureau. The first certification shows the business delivers a consistent level of quality to customers, via well defined and regularly reviewed processes and procedures. The latter verifies that The Sports Office maintains both excellent physical IT security and also the highest possible standards of data protection.

The Sports Office has been awarded ISO 9001 certificationCraig Bailey, Development Director at The Sports Office said: “We are delighted to have achieved these ISO certifications, which clearly reflect our strong, ongoing commitment to this important aspect of our work.

“Data security is vitally important for us as we develop systems to handle sensitive user information, especially given the evolving nature of information security threats. More is needed than just making sure physical security is in place. A strategic approach to data security must also be taken by a business. We believe our systems offer clients peace of mind in this area and this formal recognition validates our approach.“

The Sports Office has bee awarded ISO 27001 certificationThe Sports Office provides online performance management systems for elite sport, which offer a range of functionality. The systems support key performance processes including athlete monitoring and training load management, injury prevention, sports science, sports medicine, administration, coaching, scouting and sports analytics.

The Sports Office continues to support major professional rugby injury study

The Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project’s (PRISP) report for 2015-16 has recently been published. The long-term study is made possible by a bespoke performance management and monitoring system, developed for rugby authorities by The Sports Office.

The study is intended to improve professional player welfare and is the most comprehensive of its type. The project was first commissioned in 2002 and was jointly created by the RFU, Premier Rugby and the Rugby Players Association. It monitors player injury risk in Premiership, European club and representative competition, as well as in training.

The Sports Office worked with senior medical staff at the RFU to design and develop a powerful system which allows sports medicine and performance personnel at participating clubs and national teams to easily input an extensive range of medical and performance data. The system allows for this information to be shared immediately with coaches, directors of rugby and other key staff. The system also compiles the collected data to generate baselines, create comprehensive reports and identify patterns and trends of injuries via comparison with previous seasons.

The Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project’s annual report is made possible by a bespoke performance management and monitoring system developed by The Sports Office

The Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project’s annual report is made possible by a bespoke performance management and monitoring system developed by The Sports Office

Sports Office Client Manager Neil Holland commented: “It’s pleasing to see that the Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project continues to provide the sport with important data that can help improve standards of player welfare and medical management. Our system is a powerful tool and resource to support this long-term study and hence the ongoing work of rugby’s sports medicine and performance practitioners.”

Holland added: “We continue to work with our clients at the RFU, Premier Rugby and other governing bodies to offer them the levels of support they require. We look forward to playing our part in further improving this crucial aspect of the sport.”

Speaking in a press release about the report, jointly issued by the RFU and Premier Rugby, RFU Chief Medical Officer Simon Kemp said: “This is an important study that helps us understand injury trends in the professional game in England. Since this surveillance project began in 2002 the injury rate has remained relatively stable however last season has shown a decline in match injuries; lower than any other season.

“We need to be cautious about interpreting the data in a Rugby World Cup year that led to a change in the domestic season structure. We certainly can’t now say that the professional game is safer from these single-season results and we need to continue to monitor injury risk to clarify if this is a trend or not.”

Previously Simon Kemp has also praised The Sports Office’ work in the development of the performance management and monitoring system for the project. He said: “The Sports Office system provides a comprehensive electronic medical record with an integrated injury surveillance function.

“It’s fundamental to the delivery of sports medicine care to our Premiership and England representative team players. Our players, medical staff and performance teams all derive significant benefits.”

In the same joint press release about the recent PRISP report, Corin Palmer, Head of Rugby Operations at Premiership Rugby, also said: “Player welfare is Premiership Rugby’s number one priority and the Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project continues to provide important information which allows us alongside our 12 clubs to establish and maintain world-class standards when treating any player who has been injured in any way.”

Among the key findings from the PRISP report for 2015-16 season were that the incidence of match injuries in the Premiership was lower than reported in any previous season. Data collection during the 2016-17 season will help clarify whether this is the start of a trend towards a lower overall injury incidence or an atypical year. A copy of the PRISP report for 2015-16 season and further details can be read on the Aviva Premiership Rugby website, here.

The Sports Office provides online performance management systems for elite sport, which offer a range of functionality. The systems support key performance processes including athlete monitoring and training load management, injury prevention, sports science, sports medicine, administration, coaching and sports analytics.

Among the company’s varied client base, are many elite rugby organisations. These include national governing bodies, teams in SANZAR’s Super Rugby competition, the Australian NRL and many clubs in the UK’s Rugby League Super League.

Official opening for new Sports Office HQ

The Grade II listed Wigan Hall – the new HQ of The Sports Office – has been officially opened following the completion of an extensive refurbishment programme.

Viscount Newport, a direct descendant of Orlando Bridgeman who ordered the building’s construction in 1875, was guest of honour at the ceremony. The Mayor of Wigan Councillor Ron Conway, the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and Wigan Council leader Lord Peter Smith were also present. They were joined by Wigan Warriors and Football League Chairman Ian Lenagan.

The Sports Office Director Andy Clarke said: “We’d like to thank Viscount Newport, the representatives of Wigan Council and everybody who attended our opening. The event was a great success and we’re proud to showcase Wigan Hall as an historic building, which is now also a modern workplace.


Wigan Hall - HQ of The Sports Office

Pictured – Viscount Newport, Phil and Andy Clarke from The Sports Office with Wigan Warriors and EFL Chairman Ian Lenagan, at the grand opening of Wigan Hall.


“We believe this area of the town is developing as a vibrant hub for tech and online business and we are delighted to be playing a role in that process. Our company is in an exciting phase of development and we are receiving an increasing number of approaches from clubs, teams and organisations from around the world.”

And Clarke added:”The Sports Office has experienced tremendous growth in recent years; we work with high-profile clients throughout the world of elite sport. This expansion means we are always seeking to recruit those with degree level qualifications in the areas of IT and coding.

“We are also expanding our sales and client service team and, in both cases, we will always look favourably on applications from locally based talent.”

The Sports Office purchased Wigan Hall from the Diocese of Liverpool. The building was designed in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style by celebrated architect George Street, whose work included the Royal Courts of Justice. The restoration to convert the Hall’s interior to a modern workplace began in December 2014 and is now fully complete.

Throughout the process, the project team, Oakland Developments ensured their work did not damage or detract from the building’s historical significance and consulted regularly with heritage organisations.  Wigan Hall is now home to 30 members of The Sports Office team. This includes the coding and testing teams as well as the client management and administration departments.

The Hall has previously served as the home of a wealthy Wigan family and was also the official residence of the parish church rector. Its restoration allows passers by to enjoy the building and landscape. It had previously been obscured by overgrown trees. Swiss windows, believed to date back to 1550, have been also restored and preserved inside the Hall.

Sports Office systems are the “perfect fit” for World Rugby load management recommendations

A new study by one of the world’s largest sports federations has underlined that effective load management is critical to injury prevention for elite performers. The extensive monitoring and measurement recommended in the study can be readily implemented, via the dedicated module within Sports Office performance management systems.

World Rugby, which works with 120 member Unions and oversees 6.7 million players worldwide, commissioned the study. It examined the management of game and training load for elite players and was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study examined “loads (activity levels) encountered by professional rugby players” in order to “better understand the impact on physical and mental health, with the objective of determining potential recommendations for injury prevention.” Findings from the study have been released to increase awareness of injury-prevention throughout the game.


The Sports Office load management module is capable of generating a range of detailed reports.

The Sports Office load management module is capable of generating a range of detailed reports.

Among these are that “loads should be individually managed” as some players “may be at higher risk of injury such as those returning from injury, inexperienced players or those who have taken a step-up in competition level.“ The study also recommended that “coaches/team personnel look closely at managing load via planning and adapting training sessions” with “clear communication regarding short and long term load monitoring and management goals.”

“Having reviewed the World Rugby study, we believe the load management module within our performance management systems is the perfect fit for any elite rugby organisation seeking to implement these recommendations or any elite sports organisation seeking to use a similar approach to injury prevention and performance optimisation.”, commented The Sports Office Managing Director Phil Clarke.

“The module offers users a powerful and accurate means of quickly and effectively evaluating the impact of ALL training and preparation activities. It also offers the efficient communication opportunities described in the research. ”

Clarke added: “We believe this World Rugby study is a highly important and beneficial development for the global game. The power and capacity of our Sports Office load management functionality will support those who seek to adopt its findings.”

Using data for load management

The Sports Office “load management” module dynamically brings together data held in the Preparation and Sports Science areas of the system. A player/athlete tracker is also at the heart of the load management functionality. This provides an array of user defined options for personalised monitoring, including the ability to see individual and team information. Also included is the capability to monitor both acute and chronic loads and to manage training stress balance.

The module – which also offers a more visually engaging overview of information – will create further improvements in the performance workflow via dedicated areas which display data for staff with specific roles. The ability of The Sports Office online performance management systems to offer instant access to accurate reports, based on load management readings, are also central to the module as is the capability to send “alerts” to staff opting to receive them.

  • You can read more about the development of The Sports Office “load management” module here.
  • Full details of the World Rugby study ‘Managing player load in professional rugby union: a review of current knowledge and practices’,can be found here.

Leading club praise The Sports Office system for elite rugby

Super League club Warrington Wolves has praised The Sports Office’ rugby platform, The Rugby Squad.

The Wolves use the system across their entire rugby operations, including first team and scholarship players. The club consistently competes for major honours. and recently appeared in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, with a squad featuring 14 home-grown players. And now a senior member of Warrington’s team management and coaching staff – who is a former Super League player and Ireland international – has underlined the Rugby Squad’s benefits.

“The Rugby Squad is a powerful tool which delivers great benefits to our organisation, across many key areas”, said Head of Rugby Operations, Karl Fitzpatrick.

“The system enhances our ability to monitor training load, manage our performance data and communicate effectively. It has increased the effectiveness and efficiency of our coaching and preparation activities across all grades.”

Karl Fitzpatrick added: “The support we received from The Sports Office Client Management team meant the implementation of the system into our coaching and performance processes was very smooth. The ongoing support they provide also enables us to maximise our use of the platform.”

The Rugby Squad supports many members of the Wolves backroom staff. This includes coaches as well as staff involved in strength and conditioning, sports science, sports medicine, performance analysis and youth development. The system is also used by operations and administration teams and club commercial staff.

Performance Management Software

The Sports Office provides Performance Management Software for many elite sporting organisations.

The system allows staff to quickly and efficiently arrange all team activities, collate all data, monitor and analyse that data and thus allow evidence based decision making on vital performance issues. Reports and information generated within the system are also provided directly to the club’s Board on a regular basis.

The Sports Office provides online performance management systems for elite sport, which offer a range of functionality. The systems support key performance processes including athlete monitoring and training load management, injury prevention, sports science, sports medicine, administration, coaching and sports analytics.

Among the company’s varied client base, are many elite rugby organisations. These include teams in SANZAR’s Super Rugby competition, the Australian NRL and many other Rugby League Super League clubs.

Elite sports federations and NGBs choose The Sports Office athlete management systems

The Sports Office athlete management systems are used by a growing number of national governing bodies (NGBs) and elite sports federations. Many of these organisations face the dual challenge of optimising performance of national and representative teams or athletes; and managing factors such as long-term athlete development, welfare issues and injury surveillance.

The RFU was among the first group of NGBs to work with the The Sports Office. They have used our system to create a comprehensive electronic medical record covering their elite domestic players and every international squad. The system also provides extensive athlete monitoring functionality, which the RFU has deployed as part of their ground-breaking ‘English Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project’. They describe this as “the most comprehensive injury dataset in Professional Rugby Union” and it provides objective analysis of trends in injury risk in the English professional game.

RFU Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Simon Kemp, commented: ”The Sports Office system provides a whole league comprehensive electronic medical record with an integrated injury surveillance function. It’s fundamental to the delivery of sports medicine care to our Premiership and England representative team players. Our players, medical staff and performance teams all derive significant benefits.”


Athlete Management Systems

This image shows aspects of The Sports Office Athlete Management Systems.

 

The Scottish Football Association is also an NGB client of The Sports Office. They required an online performance management system, to help support the development of players aged 11- 16, in the association’s seven national performance schools, situated in different regions as well as programmes for their adult national teams. The Sports Office system allows Scottish FA coaches to share and deliver programmes between these sites. Players and staff can also access the system from anywhere by logging in on any device or by using the system’s dedicated app.

David Stevenson, the Scottish Football Association’s Head of Performance Analysis, said: “The Sports Office is a hugely powerful tool allowing us to quickly and easily manage our key performance processes. It helps us give the best possible preparation.”

The Sports Office was also selected to supply the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) with an online performance management system (PMS), to support its Jockey Coaching Programme, managed by the British Racing School and Northern Racing College.

Performance Management Software

The Sports Office provides Performance Management Software for many elite sporting organisations.

And The Sports Office Business Development Manager Tom Leather added: “We are seeing a growing demand for our athlete management systems from elite sports federations and NGBs. These organisations wish to use them for programmes such as long term injury surveillance and related athlete welfare projects, as well as maximising the performance of teams and athletes in their representative structures.

“We believe our sport specific systems have proven themselves highly capable of meeting these complex needs and they provide extensive functionality to support a broad range of performance management and athlete monitoring activity.”

You can read a more detailed Case Study relating to the Scottish Football Association’s use of The Sports Office athlete management system here.

You can also read about our work with the British Horseracing Authority here. 

Please contact The Sports Office today to learn more about how our systems can be used to help elite sporting organisations find the winning edge.

PACSMail enhances sports medicine functionality of our systems

The Sports Office has teamed up with leading medical imaging and clinical data company Sybermedica to enhance sports medicine functionality within our performance management systems.

Sybermedica and The Sports Office have agreed a ground-breaking arrangement to link each companies cloud-based sports performance management systems. Sybermedica’s ‘PACSMail’ network is already widely used for diagnostic image sharing and The Sports Office ‘Squad’ platform is used by elite teams, governing bodies and federations in all parts of the sporting world.

Recognising the need for an integrated approach to sports medical management and performance information management, the two companies will now work together to provide multi-disciplinary teams of high-performance sports professionals with seamless browser-based access, to both performance and diagnostic information.

Sybermedica’s ‘PACSMail’, medical diagnostic images, performance management systems for elite sport

‘PACSMail’ – used for sharing medical diagnostic images – is now integrated into The Sports Office performance management systems for elite sport.

Sybermedica’s CEO, Stephen Gatley and Sports Office MD Andy Clarke commented in a joint statement. They said:“The huge pressure to deliver results has led to elite sport becoming a leader in the use of IT to support the work of multi-site, multi-disciplinary teams of medical and performance professionals.

“Our companies’ role is to make sure that they can easily access the information they need and we are delighted to be working together to make this happen.”

PACSMail is a secure medical data communications network enabling sports medicine practitioners and, more broadly, other clinicians to collaborate online. It is used in the delivery of a range of ‘virtual’ clinical services, allowing those with hands-on responsibility for patient care to gain remote access to the expertise of clinical colleagues.

The Sports Office provides online performance management systems for elite sport, which offer a range of functionality. The systems support key performance processes including athlete monitoring and training load management, injury prevention, sports science, sports medicine, administration, coaching, scouting and sports analytics.

North American presence bolstered by client management visit

The Sports Office presence in the North American market has been bolstered following a visit to the territory by its client management team, during which meetings with current and potential new clients were staged.

Clubs in Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League are already using The Sports Office performance management systems and key staff from these and other organisations were involved in the gatherings, which took place in both Canada and USA.

As part of its commitment to the highest possible standards of ongoing support and service, the Sports Office team also delivered further training in the system’s latest functionality. The aim is to ensure all clients maximise usage and gain full value from the system, in areas including coaching, sports medicine, sport science, performance analysis, administration and recruitment.

“The visit was highly productive and we very much enjoyed meeting with our current clients in North American sport”, said Client Manager Carl Pomfret. “It was also pleasing to meet with organisations who are considering using our performance management systems for elite sport, to meet the challenges they face.”

Pomfret added: ”The Leagues and organisations which make up the North American sports market are some of the most progressive and forward thinking in the world and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them as they strive to maximise all aspects of their performance and preparation.“

Sports organisations in North America use The Sports Office performance management systems.

MLS team Toronto FC (pictured) are among the organisations in North American sport to use The Sports Office performance management systems.

In addition to meetings with current clients in both the US and Canada, the Sports Office team also met with potential new clients, who operate in the MLS and the NBA. During the visit, a new client agreement was also reached with a leading franchise in the Canadian Football League.

The Sports Office provides online performance management systems for elite sport, which offer a range of functionality. The systems support key performance processes including athlete monitoring and training load management, injury prevention, sports science, sports medicine, administration, coaching and sports analytics.

Among the company’s current clients are many elite sports organisations in other parts of the world. These include teams in SANZAR’s Super Rugby competition, the Australian NRL and European teams competing in the UEFA Champions League.

The Sports Office’s dedicated software for elite football is currently also used by leading clubs in the Barclay’s Premier League, the Sky Bet Championship, the MLS and Australia’s A-League, as well as major football governing bodies, including the Scottish FA.

Elsewhere in the world of elite sport, clients include the RFU, Aviva Premiership rugby clubs, leading equestrian organisations including the BHA, high-ranking professional tennis players, clubs in Rugby League’s Super League and professional cycling teams.

Staff engagement day staged

The Sports Office has successfully staged the first element of its new staff engagement and continuous professional development programme (CPD). The one-day event took place at the company’s head office in Wigan and involved all team members.

The day included presentations about future company objectives, contributions by team members, as well as tailored CPD sessions. The latter was provided by leading performance consultancy Tougher Minds, which teaches simple and practical mental skills and techniques, to boost personal productivity, enhance wellbeing and improve business performance.

Commenting on the day, The Sports Office Managing Director Phil Clarke said:” We believe our staff engagement and CPD programmes are an important part of what makes The Sports Office both a consistently successful business and an employer of choice.

“Our vision is to create the best possible environment for all team members, so that we can continue to develop and enhance our products and services for high-performance sports organisations, operating in the world’s most high-profile Leagues and competitions.”

Clarke added:”We were delighted to host Tougher Minds founder Dr Jon Finn who provided us with some excellent techniques and mental skills, in an engaging and accessible format. We believe these will have a significant benefit for us all.”

“We will now work to implement all other aspects of our staff engagement and CPD programme and we will continue to ensure we maintain a focus on continuous improvement within our business.”

The Sports Office employs 25 staff which includes the company’s coding and testing teams as well as the client management and administration teams In 2015, the company completed a move to new headquarters in the historic Wigan Hall. The Grade II listed building was identified as a suitable location and its interior has been fully converted.

The Sports Office provides online performance management systems, used across elite sport, which offer a range of functionality to support sports science, sports medicine, coaching, athlete/player performance, administration, health and wellbeing, recruitment, squad management and a mobile athlete app.

The Sports Office’s dedicated software for elite football is currently used by leading clubs in the Barclay’s Premier League, the Sky Bet Championship, the MLS in the United States and Australia’s A-League, as well as major football governing bodies, including the Scottish FA. Other clients in elite sport include NHL franchises, the RFU, Aviva Premiership rugby clubs, leading equestrian organisations, professional tennis coaches, professional cycling and clubs in Rugby League’s Super League.

 

Aberdeen FC implement Sports Office system on club-wide basis

Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership outfit Aberdeen FC have become the first club in Scotland to use The Sports Office online performance management system, within all football-related departments of their organisation.

Aberdeen – who are well known for their dramatic 1983 European Cup Winners Cup triumph over Real Madrid – began using the system for first team and age group sides, via The Sports Office’s work with the Scottish Football Association’s national player performance programmes. The ‘Dons’ have now opted to implement the system on a club-wide basis, after having recognised how its extensive functionality can support and  benefit all aspects of their elite football performance cycle. This includes sports medicine, sports science, statistical analysis, administration, communication and scouting.

“We’re delighted to be involved with an ever-growing and innovative organisation like The Sports Office.”, commented Steven Gunn, Aberdeen FC’s Football Operations Manager.

“Their Football Squad software has enabled us to further professionalise our Football Operation and support all areas of the player development process.”

Gunn added: “It’s the first system of its kind to cover all the areas we see as key to our football strategy and we’re pleased with the progress we’ve made in the early part of the partnership. The Sports Office share our philosophy of continual improvement and innovation and we look forward to developing the relationship further in the future.”

The Sports Office Client Manager Carl Pomfret is working closely with the club during the implementation period. He commented: ”Aberdeen FC have a significant place in Scottish and European football. They have an illustrious history and exciting future and so we look forward to working with them for the long term.”

Aberdeen remain the only Scottish team to win two European trophies. They also boast many Scottish League and Cup titles and, at time of writing, are second in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership table.

The Sports Office online performance management systems for football support practitioners involved in the sport at elite, professional level. The systems provide extensive functionality to support coaching, video-usage, sports science, sports medicine, scouting and recruitment, squad management and communication. They also allow the creation of truly personalised performance and development plans for players.

The company works with more than 20 elite football clubs, competing in the world’s most high-profile competitions. Several major national governing bodies have also chosen to adopt The Sports Office. One of these is the Scottish FA, who use it throughout their structures, including for all their national teams and at all seven of their Performance Schools.

Elsewhere in the world of elite sport, clients include the RFU, Aviva Premiership rugby clubs, leading equestrian organisations, professional tennis coaches, clubs in Rugby League’s Super League and professional cycling teams.