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Tech Start-up Builds Chatbot for Sport Wales to Encourage Participation in Sport

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A new chatbot created by ‘We Build Bots’ for Sport Wales is aiming to increase participation in grassroots sports by matching users to activities and connecting them with teams and clubs in their local areas.

The Sport Wales chatbot, which works on the Facebook messenger platform, launched at the start of October, and asks users a series of questions about exercise preferences such as whether the user prefers indoor or outdoor sports or team or solo activities.

The Chatbot will then find the perfect sport for the user and where they can participate, providing club contact details. The Chatbot aims to get more people active and involved in sports and will also provide inspiration through social images of local and national sportspeople to help users feel part of a social sporting community.

The National Survey for Wales1 recently published findings that showed 3 in 5 adults surveyed were overweight or obese, and at the point of the survey 32% confessed to having been completely inactive the week before.

As well as helping to maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise is a great way of meeting new people, and could help some of the 130,0002 students at Welsh universities to get involved with their local communities when the new term starts in September.

We Build Bots founder and CEO Paul Shepherd said:

“It’s great to see Welsh Sport adopting the latest technologies in their quest to get more people active with sports, and as a fellow Welsh business, we’re delighted to be involved. Whilst this is a fun, light-hearted bot we hope this proves to be an invaluable asset if more people become more active as a result.

“Messenger platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are hugely popular. Facebook messenger has more than a billion active monthly users, with over 2 billion messages being exchanged between organisations and the public each month. We anticipate a huge demand from millennials and centennials for connecting with organisations and businesses this way and that as a result chatbot use will continue to grow connecting people to information quicker than ever.”

Paul Batcup, PR Manager at Sport Wales, said:

“We’re hoping our new chatbot will drive engagement with the OurSquad campaign even higher. We launched Our Squad in August to help inspire, empower and encourage more women and girls in Wales to get active and give sport a go, regardless of their current fitness level. We’ve already seen some great engagement.  The new chatbot is all about helping women and girls find their perfect sporty match, making it easier than ever to join in.”