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What is sport integrity?

Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person with integrity does what they say they will do in accordance with their values, beliefs and principles. A person of integrity can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so. A key to integrity, therefore, is consistency of actions that are viewed as honest and truthful to inner values.

A sport that displays integrity can often be recognised as honest and genuine in its dealings, championing good sportsmanship, providing safe, fair and inclusive environments for all involved. It will be also expected to ‘play by the rules’ that are defined by its code.

A sport that generally displays integrity has a level of community confidence, trust and support behind them. The impact of this on their business cannot be underestimated.

Integrity in Sport can lead to:

  • increased participation - loyalty of members and the attraction of new members
  • financially viable - through membership, attraction of sponsors and funding grants
  • on field success - attraction of players who want to be associated with a healthy, successful brand.

Activities and behaviours that define sport as lacking integrity include: creating an unfair advantage or the manipulation of results through performance enhancing drugs, match fixing or tanking. Anti-social behaviours demonstrated by parents, spectators, coaches and players are also a significant integrity issue for sport. Such behaviours may include bullying, harassment, discrimination and child abuse.

The integrity of a sport will be judged by its participants, spectators, sponsors, the general public and more often than not, the media. The survival of a sport therefore relies on ensuring that ‘the sport is the same on the outside as it is on the inside’ and remains true to its values, principles and rules.

What is sport ethics?

Ethics is the system that reinforces acceptable behaviours or values thereby ensuring a level of integrity or good character is maintained. Sport ethics helps us see and differentiate right from wrong. For example, we know that a person that handballs a goal in football, and tries to get away with it, is breaking the rules. They break the ethical code of football by being dishonest and cheating. Their integrity is brought into question through their actions.  In this sense ‘ethics’ are the overarching systems and concepts that dictate integrity. Such systems in sport include defined values, codes of conducts, bi-laws, rules, policies and the implementation of these policies and rules.

What is sport culture?

Sport Culture or ‘the way we do things around here’, is the brand that presents itself to the public.  A healthy culture is generally displayed in those sporting organisations that recognise the paramount importance of maintaining their integrity. This recognition is owned by the leadership group and trickles down through all levels of the organisation.  A sport with a positive culture will demonstrate energy, commitment and effort in developing systems to ensure their sport is one that all members are proud to participate in and support. The key to a positive sport culture is consistency of action.

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Did you know?

Gold Coast 2018 is the 5th Commonwealth Games to be hosted by Australia.

Quick numbers

11.6 million Australian adults participate in sport or physical activity three or more times per week.
3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school.
$10 billion is spent annually by Australians on fees for participation in sport or physical activity.
17 million Australian adults participate in a sport or physical activity every year.