The software that we use is called the ‘Sport For Life System’ and is, of course, a custom-made application that was written specifically for the Games.
Before I explain about why and how the software is great and really important to us, it’s worth considering the complexities of the Corporate Games and the sports that if offers.
As the programme for any Games shows, there’s a number of sports on in parallel during the weekend. Within each sport, there’s a range of event codes; these are used mostly to introduce age ranges within the sport, as well as creating ‘rounds’ within sports like Dragon Boat and Golf. In addition to this, bear in mind the fact there’s thousands of people to not only record and document, but to spread out evenly throughout the events, per sport.
So, back to the software. Of course, there’s a CRM element to the software; that is, Customer Relationship Management, meaning that we store and manage our client’s details. The sales team use this section heavily, as this helps to guide us to manage our clients and contacts, and ultimately drive participation.
Once entries have been secured from the many organisations up and down the country, entry forms are received and their details are recorded within the system, along with their chosen sport and events. This information is later used to schedule each and every event within the Games, putting people (or teams) into groups, spread across pitches, courts, lanes, etc., which is no mean feat.
The scheduling section allows us to allocate our Athletes into the various groups, paying attention to fact that we try to distribute multiple teams from the same organisation to prevent them from playing against each other. Also, alongside this, we try our best to group teams, doubles and individuals according to their ability, such in Golf, as we are conscious that people should play in group whereby their competitors are of equal ability.
The Registration Guide document is one of the most important documents produced by the system, as this is used to not only confirm the recipient’s address, but it also forms the Athlete ID badge and is used to check-in at the appropriate sporting venue.
At this point, the software has done it’s thing, until the end of each event within each sport, as the results are entered and the various points are allocated to the organisation that each point winner earns. Once all results are entered, the system is then responsible for producing the necessary paperwork for the closing awards, detailing the various champions within each division.
This may be the end of the Games, but the system is then required to output a subset of the data to the Corporate Games website for public display and scrutiny.
Hopefully, this will help you to see that the software that we use to manage the Corporate Games is quite specialised, but also very powerful. It has been developed over the past 20 years in it’s various forms. We continue to refine all aspects of the system, as well as further it’s development and usefulness to us.