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Sydney workshop key step on sport participation strategy journey

A November launch date has been set for Australia’s first codesigned National Sport Participation Strategy following a sector wide workshop in Sydney.

More than 45 people including Project Steering Group (PSG) members, Pillar Working Group representatives, industry experts and Australian Sports Commission (ASC) staff attended the codesign workshop two months out from the strategy’s launch.

The workshop was an opportunity for participants to explore key insights gathered and examine the work the six Pillar Working Groups have done to help shape the strategy's content, activities, and measures.

Work first started on the strategy in January with extensive engagement taking place across Australia's sport sector over the past eight months.

Close to 400 individuals have participated in workshops held across the country and an online survey received almost 7,000 responses.

Alex Anasson from Triathlon Australia attended the Sydney workshop and said the strategy will have flow on effects for the entire sector.

“This work is so important for Australian sport. It’s the first time that we’ve done a strategy specifically for participation and considering that’s the heart of our sport sector it really will help us to align our cultures, our behaviour and help change the landscape of Australian sport for the better.”

Key statistics from the Participation Strategy survey

Graph 1: Number of respondents who are involved in sport in each way

I work in a sport-related role1381
I volunteer in community sport2760
I participate in sport3306
My children participate in sport3407
None of the above163

Graph 2:  Number of respondents by gender

Something else73
Prefer not to say60

Graph 3:  Number of respondents by location

Prefer not to say76

Graph 4:  Barriers to other people playing sport

Takes up too much time22.0%
Injury/poor health27.0%
Lack of knowledge of local opportunities29.0%
Lack of confidence34.0%
Too expensive to play/buy gear45.0%
Too much emphasis on competition17.0%
Playing/training times not flexible22.0%
Not inclusive enough11.0%
Other (please specify)10.0%
There are no barriers3.0%
Got other interests25.0%
No clubs/facilities in the local area19.0%

Graph 5: Barriers to volunteering

Takes up too much time54.0%
Injury/poor health17.0%
Not knowing what they could do61.0%
Lack of confidence44.0%
Lack of interest in sport17.0%
Not enough flexibility in the roles10.0%
Not enough flexibility in the timetable14.0%
Not inclusive enough13.0%
Other (please specify)22.0%
There are no barriers3.0%

PSG member and CEO SportWest Matt Fulton is passionate about community sport and the power of sport to bring communities together. He says the strategy is vitally important to every Australian.

“I've been really impressed at the way over the last number of months the Sports Commission has led a change in bringing together of a group of people to oversee the development of the strategy,” he said.

“I feel really confident that the strategy that's being developed at the moment will have the views of all of Australians embedded into it.”

Head of Community at Melbourne City Football Club Sunil Menon has also been involved in the strategy from the beginning as a PSG member.

“I think what we're trying to hopefully achieve is a position where everyone feels comfortable and reflected in sport and is able to consume it at their own pace and time,” he says.

“We know that there's so many changing factors in sport and how people consume sport and participate in sport and we're hoping that into the future we're able to future proof this, so you know, in four or five years’ time we're looking back and saying this is a great opportunity that we took to advance the participation of sport in Australia.”

View across a table piled with notepads, stationery, glasses and coffee cup, to two people standing looking over notes.
National Sport Participation Strategy Project Steering Group and National Lead Sport Development Squash Australia Shaun McEachin and Triathlon Australia’s Alex Anasson at the Sydney workshop.
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