THRIVE: Sustainable sports

We want more sports to have the capability, workforce and leadership capacity to develop and run successful sport programs.

In order to achieve Australia’s Winning Edge targets and participation outcomes under Play.Sport.Australia., we need sports to be effective organisations. To enable this, the ASC is focused on supporting the network that supplies sport through improving governance, leadership and business systems of NSOs. This includes the implementation of MSGP and the provision of support for coaching and officiating, product development and workforce capability.

Our objective is for sports to be strategic, well-governed and financially sound, including fostering less reliance on government funding. We aim for NSOs to have the right people, structure and systems in place to achieve high performance and participation outcomes and deliver the sport opportunities that Australians want.

By providing leadership to build capability and sustainability across the sector, the Thrive pillar is a key component of the ASC’s delivery of PBS outcomes 1 and 2.

Our approach

In 2015-16 the ASC has continued to focus on the delivery of commercialisation and capability projects and the implementation of the MSGP, working with NSOs and state and territory departments of sport and recreation to support and monitor progress. In addition, the ASC has progressed work to enable long term monitoring of the organisational capability of NSOs through the development of Sport.Scan.

Key activity areas include:

  • continuing to help sporting bodies improve their governance and drive alignment through national, state and territory levels
  • delivering sector initiatives to optimise coach, official and leader talent and support sports to develop workforce strategies
  • assisting sports to develop relevant products and identify commercial opportunities to improve their financial sustainability
  • helping sports develop their digital capability to ensure they are connecting with their customers effectively and utilising technology to support growth and innovation
  • evolving the Play by the Rules resources to help deliver safe, fair and inclusive sporting environments.

Our success is measured by how well sports are meeting the MSGP and the long-term improvement in the organisational capability and financial sustainability of NSOs, including increasing commercial revenue streams.

Our results

Table 6: ASC performance against Thrive deliverables



Supporting statement

Increase in the number of NSOs complying with the MSGP1

Achieved 100 percent

The number of NSOs monitored against the MSGP was increased to 21, up from 15 in 2014. The average compliance rating increased across sports that have been monitored since 2014.

20 governance, commercialisation and workforce capability projects completed with NSOs1,2


76 capability projects were completed in 2015-16.

Increase in the number of NSOs developing non-government revenue streams1

Significant progress


Significant Progress
Nine commercialisation projects were undertaken to assist NSOs to develop non-government revenue streams, including six NSO and three sector wide projects. A pilot workshop, based on market research conducted by the ASC, was delivered to educate NSOs on increasing commercial revenue.

Initial data collected against the ASC organisational development framework to establish benchmark organisational capability measures1,2



The organisational development tool Sport.Scan was successfully developed in 2015-16. Data collection across 23 priority NSOs is planned to coincide with the 2016 ASPR process.

  1. 2015-19 Corporate Plan and 2015-16 Annual Operational Plan
  2. Portfolio Budget Statements 2015-16

The ASC maintained a strong focus across governance, workforce capability and commercialisation in 2015-16, delivering 76 projects and significantly exceeding planned performance targets. Project examples included the new Board evaluation tool, coach education resources and assisting NSOs with go to market strategies. Further work across a large pipeline of projects is currently underway and expected to be completed in 2016-17.

The ASC has undertaken nine projects designed to increase non-government revenue streams of NSOs, including conducting a sponsorship workshop and two sector specific projects aimed at the commercialisation of women’s sport. The ASC has supported Hockey Australia with a go to market strategy to develop Hookin2Hockey into a nationally consistent junior product, and has continued to assist Netball Australia with the implementation and development of technology to support the Fast5 product. The success of these commercialisation projects will be monitored in the 2016 ASPR, however, these initiatives have created real opportunities for NSOs to reduce reliance on government revenue.

In 2015 the ASC continued to support best practice governance and the number of sports which are required to demonstrate compliance against the MGSP was expanded to 21. The average rating of the 15 sports that have been assessed for more than one year increased from ‘adopting’ to ‘implemented’ in 2015–16, demonstrating that the number of NSOs complying with the MSGP continues to increase. For sports outside of this group, the ASC provided advice and support to ensure that good governance is achievable across the sport sector. The ASC has also commenced work on new governance initiatives, including the launch of Integrity Guidelines for directors and leaders of sporting organisations in May 2016, and the next wave of governance reform in June 2016. These projects are a part of the ASC continued focus and commitment to advocating for effective governance and will be further implemented in 2016-17.

During 2015-16 the ASC has finalised the organisational development tool, Sport.Scan, which is designed to measure and track improvements in the organisational capability of NSOs. To ensure strategic alignment and streamlined engagement with NSOs, the ASC has delayed initial data collection to coincide with the 2016 ASPR process.