The Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) is an Australian Government initiative delivered by the Australian Sports Commission that uses sport as a vehicle for community development.
ASOP activities in the Pacific:
- helping to build the capacity of committed individuals and organisations to manage and deliver activities
- using quality and inclusive sport and physical activities
- contributing to development outcomes such as improved leadership, health promotion and social cohesion.
ASOP also conducts the Pacific Sport for Development Grants program that enables organisations in Pacific countries to apply for support for community sport development initiatives on an annual basis.
Structure and implementation
The Australian Government uses a partnerships approach and works closely with in-country partners to design programs that use sport to address identified priority development areas. Programs start by identifying a development priority and then identifying and working with partners to determine how well-planned, sport-based activities can help. These programs are implemented by in-country partners in communities, villages and schools with the support of community members and other volunteers. The Australian Government provides ongoing support to this implementation, and lessons learnt through monitoring and evaluation are used for ongoing improvement and tailoring of Sport for Development programs.
ASOP Pacific programs include:
- ASOP Kiribati
- ASOP Nauru
- ASOP Samoa
- ASOP Tonga
- ASOP Vanuatu
- ASOP Fiji
- ASOP Solomon Islands
- ASOP Pacific Sport Development Grants
- ASOP Pacific Sports Partnerships
The Australian Government works in partnership with government and non-government partners, and sports activities are run regularly in the seven ASOP countries. Some of the most popular sports are volleyball, basketball, football (soccer), aerobics, netball and traditional sports.
Specific sport activities are often designed for vulnerable groups in the community, such as unemployed young people, women, children, older people, and people with disability, to engage them playing sport and increasing their participation.
Through participation in sports, individuals increase their ability to organise, lead, network, communicate, cooperate, self-determine, become more active and develop a sense of responsibility and fair play.