Outcome 1

Improved participation in structured physical activity, particularly organised sport, at the community level, including through leadership and targeted community based sports activity.

Total expenses: $108,160,000

Total appropriation: $88,337,000

The focus of Outcome 1 is developing the Australian sport sector to increase participation in sport. To achieve this, the ASC:

  • provides targeted investment to NSOs to enable them to grow their participation base
  • provides services and support that assists NSOs with participation strategy, planning and operations
  • develops and shares high quality information, research and data to better understand what is happening in sport
  • drives demand for lifelong participation in sport by focussing on younger Australians through the Sporting Schools programme.

Our approach

During the reporting period the ASC launched its new participation game plan Play.Sport.Australia. which sets out a big-picture vision for boosting participation in sport. It has a focus on delivering: more Australians, particularly younger Australians, participating in sport more often; year-on-year membership and participation growth for all sports; and strong sporting organisations that deliver the products and opportunities Australians want.

Play.Sport.Australia. builds on the work and achievements of previous years, continuing the ASC’s focus on working to better understand what is happening in sport and supporting the network that supplies sport — Australia’s sporting organisations. A key component of this strategy is helping drive demand for lifelong participation in sport with a focus on our national school-based participation programme, Sporting Schools.

In 2014–15, the ASC continued to emphasise the importance of building participation through community-based sporting activity by investing in NSOs, continuing to build the capability and sustainability of NSOs and transitioning from the AASC programme to the Sporting Schools initiative which will help schools run activities across more than 30 major sports for three terms each year.


Supporting the half-million untrained coaches — a paradigm shift in community coach and officials training Active After-school Communities programme

Responding to rapid advances in communication, changes in the way adults learn and shifts in volunteering patterns, the ASC undertook a major review of community-level coaching and officiating in Australia. The review focussed on the need to support the 500,000 coaches who deliver sport at the community level.

The review and subsequent industry consultation highlighted the need for a paradigm shift to ensure that community coaches and officials received the training they need to do their jobs.  It also identified that accreditation was important, but sports also needed to support the large numbers of coaches and officials that volunteered their time and didn’t want accreditation.

From the recommendations of the review, the ASC has provided NSOs with toolkits that guide them through developing coaching and officiating frameworks and training programmes that meet the needs of their workforce and participants. The step-by-step approach helps sports to understand their coach and official workforce and their participants, enabling them to tailor a suite of support and learning approaches to meet their needs. This includes accreditation, but also online learning and more informal approaches at the club level.

The AASC programme closed on 31 December 2014 after a successful 10-year period that had a significant impact on the Australian sporting sector.

The programme stretched across all states and territories, reaching two million students in more than 6,000 schools and OSHCS over that time.

The programme also introduced the Playing for Life[4] philosophy in one quarter of Australian primary schools and trained more than 65,000 coaches.

Each semester, more than 190,000 children took part in AASC. The programme included sports as diverse as soccer, judo and wheelchair basketball, all while promoting healthy and active lifestyles and developing a lifelong interest in sport.

Development and piloting of the Sporting Schools programme New participation investment approach

Following the announcement of the Sporting Schools initiative in the May 2014 Federal Budget, the ASC began developing and piloting the $100 million initiative. Sporting Schools builds on the success of AASC and will involve more children, schools and coaches than ever before. The initiative is geared to get children active, engaged and having fun while teaching them positive leadership skills, physical skills and greater community engagement.

Sporting Schools will bring local sporting communities, schools and government agencies together to encourage sport participation across Australia.

The Sporting Schools pilot programme ran between January and June 2015, involving 10 NSOs and more than 500 primary schools across Australia.

Sporting Schools officially begins on 1 July 2015 and will partner with more than 30 NSOs to expand sporting opportunities for children before, during and after school hours at Australian primary schools.

As part of the ASC’s participation game plan Play.Sport.Australia., the ASC developed a new participation investment model for NSO funding. The model is based on a categorisation approach and framework where investments to NSOs are prioritised based on their capability of leading participation growth.

This new framework aims to provide a simpler, more consistent and transparent approach to participation funding. Categorisation is based on participation data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and data gathered through the ASC’s Annual Sports Performance Review.

Future categorisation will be informed by Annual Sports Performance Review participation data and the new ASC sector-wide national AusPlay survey.


The following tables provide a summary of the ASC’s performance against the deliverables as set out for Outcome 1 in the PBS.

Table 8: ASC performance against Outcome 1 deliverables




Provide targeted investment to NSOs to achieve measurable participation outcomes


The ASC provided funding to 58 NSOs to achieve participation outcomes in 2014–15.

To provide a simpler, more consistent and transparent approach to participation funding the ASC also developed a new participation investment model.

This new model will be implemented from 1 July 2015.  

Establish and implement an annual participation research and information programme to measure sport participation and provide information to assist NSOs to make informed decisions about participation

Significant progress made

Initial aspects of design have been undertaken including consultation with a range of sport sector representatives to better understand participation data needs, identify major issues or gaps, and inform reporting outputs to maximise the survey’s usefulness.

The scope for the ASC’s annual national participation data collection tool, to be known as the AusPlay survey, has been defined. The survey will collect data on sport and selected active recreation activities with an annual sample size of 20,000 for adults and approximately 5,000 for children.

The procurement phase has been delayed, preventing implementation this year. The AusPlay survey is now expected to be designed in the second half of 2015 and field work expected to begin in late 2015.

Implement the Sporting Schools initiative


The AASC programme was successfully closed on 31 December 2014.

Transition to the new Sporting Schools programme is complete with key milestones of web-based registrations and grant applications going live in February and May 2015 respectively.

A transition programme was implemented in term 2 of 2015 to help 1,588 schools that had been involved in the AASC programme move to Sporting Schools and 32 NSOs establish new partnership arrangements.

Sporting Schools programme delivery officially begins in July 2015.

Key performance indicators

The following tables provide a summary of the ASC’s performance against the key performance indicators as set out for Outcome 1 in the PBS.

Table 9: ASC performance against Outcome 1 key performance indicators

Key performance indicator



Establishment of benchmark participation data to measure the percentage of the Australian population participating in organised sport (traditional or social) with an NSO or affiliate


With the delay in the implementation of the AusPlay survey, the target of establishing benchmark participation data has not been achieved this year. Work will continue to establish this benchmark data in 2015–16. In the interim, the ASC will continue to use ABS participation data and data gathered through the ASC’s Annual Sport Performance Review.

80 per cent of priority participation NSOs[5] growing their participation base


27 of the 35 priority participation NSOs (80 percent) grew their participation base in 2014-15.

80 per cent of key sport partners agree the ASC has demonstrated effective leadership of the sport sector

Achieved 88 per cent

88 per cent of key sport partners agree the ASC has demonstrated effective leadership of the sport sector.

80 per cent of key sport partners agree the ASC has effectively shared knowledge and expertise in sport

Achieved 96 per cent

96 percent of key sport partners agree the ASC has effectively shared knowledge and expertise in sport.


[4] The Playing For Life philosophy is an approach to coaching that uses games rather than drills to introduce the skills and tactics of the particular sport being delivered in order to create a fun and inclusive environment.
[5] In 2014-15 there were 29 priority participation NSOs