What is open data?

Open data is data that anyone can access, use or share. In the sport and physical activity sector, open ‘opportunity data’ is information about where and when sport and physical activities happen. This includes descriptions, times, prices, locations and availability of sessions, but does not include personal customer data, commercially sensitive data or participation and attendance data.

Who are Open Active?

OpenActive is a community-led initiative with the ambition to help people in England get active using open data. The initiative is stewarded by the Open Data Institute (ODI) and supported by Sport England. It is formed by organisations and engaged individuals working within the sport and physical activity sector, including Active Kent & Medway.

Follow this link to find out more about OpenActive

How does it work and what are the benefits?

For the Travel Industry:

When you search for a holiday online you find the same hotels and flights featured on lots of different websites, each with accurate information and a simple booking process. That’s because travel sites such as Expedia, Hotels.com and Lastminute.com all use the same data, which is shared by the booking systems of hotels, airlines and car rental companies according to defined standards.

Hotels and airlines publish descriptions, times, dates and availability as open data. Sites such as Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com and lastminute.com use this information to make it easy for people to search, find, compare and book holidays in one place.

For the Sport and physical activity sector:

After opening your data, your activities will be available to more apps and services and have a wider community reach.In contrast, information about physical activities is published in many different formats both online across a range of websites and social media, and offline through flyers, newspaper listings or community noticeboards. As a result, people may find it hard to browse and book local opportunities, and services wanting to promote activities may struggle to share information and keep it up to date.

Open opportunity data means activities can be listed online in more places, products and services, helping activity providers to reach more people and consumers to discover and take part in new activities more easily. Open data has the potential to help innovators build a range of products and services that meet people’s’ digital expectations in the same way as those you find in the travel sector. From activity finders for wide audiences, to very tailored services aimed at getting specific kinds of people active.

Who is involved?

Current open data publishers include:

Current open data consumers include:

Getting started

Is your club or organisation an activity provider? Join the open data revolution and help more people to discover and take part in your activities. The best way to get started depends on how you currently promote your activity sessions, which can broadly be split into three groups:

Option A: You have have an online system where you list activities.

If you use an online system, then the first step is to find out if it is already open data enabled – the OpenActive website has a list of OpenActive-enabled systems. If it is not open already then you may need to ask your system provider to create an open data feed. Active Kent & Medway and OpenActive can help support you with doing this.

Option B: You don’t use an online system.

If you don’t currently use an online system, then you can still get involved. There are several free systems available for clubs and organisations to list their data openly.

Open Sessions

Open Sessions has been created by London Sport to offer activity providers a free way to publish their activities as open data. Once you have registered your club or organisation, simply add your sessions and tick the box to confirm you are happy for them to be published in the Open Sessions OpenActive data feed to be picked up by the activity finders of other organisations including Active Kent & Medway and This Girl Can.

Follow this link to visit the Open Sessions website to register and upload your sessions


Classfinder is a website created and managed by EMD UK, the national governing body for group exercise. It is a great way for any group exercise instructors to market their sessions and access the benefits of open data.

Follow this link to visit the Classfinder website to register and upload your sessions

Option C: You have a custom-built booking or listing system

If you use a custom system, then you will need to ask your developers to create an open data feed. OpenActive and Active Kent & Medway can offer help and support with this if needed.

Get in touch

If you’re not sure of how to get involved, would like to find out more information, or need some support with opening your data then we’d be happy to help.

profile photo of Andrea Murphy

Andrea Murphy

Active Partnership Manager (Connecting Communities Lead)

  • Tel: 03000 414454
  • Email: andrea.murphy@kent.gov.uk
  • Part time - usual working days are Tuesdays - Fridays from 8:30am to 2:30pm.
    "In my spare time I love socialising through netball, relaxing on a dog walk and supporting my children to be active."