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.