A government-backed taskforce has been formed with the aim of accelerating sports fans’ mass return to stadia across the UK. The taskforce will work towards bringing fans back into stadiums across the UK, even as more locations and regions face stricter coronavirus lockdown measures. The taskforce will be headed by David Ross, the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse.
The Sports Technology Innovation Group (STIG) has picked a panel of business and technology experts to work on technology-based solutions to bring fans back to the sports stadiums following the return to ‘normal life’ after coronavirus lockdowns. The taskforce will be working on solutions that could include a digital self-certification regime that would enable sports fans to resume watching their favourite teams and sports in the stadiums.
Insiders on the Sports Technology Innovation Group taskforce said on Thursday that the group’s members would include Gary Hoffman, the former banker who now chairs the Premier League, and Natalie Ceeney, who chairs the tech-focused lobbying group Innovate Finance and is the vice chair of Sport England. The taskforce may also include Edward Wray, a co-founder of Betfair, as he has also been invited to join. Sources also add that Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England will also be a member of the taskforce.
David Ross and the Sports Technology Innovation Group taskforce
David Ross is a well-known figure in the arts and sporting worlds, having been recently named as the chairman of the Royal Opera House’s board of trustees. In addition to this, Ross chairs the British Olympic Association, which is currently awaiting a decision about whether this year’s Tokyo Olympics will take place in 2021.
Details of the Sports Technology Innovation Group’s taskforce prospective recommendations remain unclear at this early stage, although some form of self-certification app is highly likely. Sports industry figures say that the new taskforce’s work will be undertaken in parallel with operation Moonshot – the prime minister’s widely debated ambition of introducing rapid mass testing across the UK.