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ASC acknowledges sports for outstanding work in participation

17 Nov 2017

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has recognised leadership in community sport by presenting its inaugural ASC Participation Awards to Ski and Snowboard Australia, Tennis Australia and Gymnastics Victoria.

The three awards were presented during the closing session of Our Sporting Future, the ASC’s biennial conference on the Gold Coast to focus on the growth of participation sport.

Ski and Snowboard Australia won the Excellence in Participation award for their Snowracer initiative, a centralised platform for information, resources and engagement for snow sports competitions across all levels. It has introduced a range of initiatives such as SnowID that allows users to track their own performances, access a unique information portal and keep track of live timing, scoring and events.

Tennis Australia won the award for Excellence in Innovation for its Book a Court online system. It enables players to book and pay for access to courts quickly via a central system, giving the community improved access to courts, increasing revenue for clubs, reducing administration costs and providing local government with venue stability and visibility of usage patterns.

The Play By The Rules Award went to Gymnastics Victoria for its inclusive work providing pathway opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Its partnership with Special Olympics Australia helped create systemic inclusive change within gymnastics.

ASC Chief Executive officer Kate Palmer said it was important to recognise and reward sports for their efforts in growing participation through innovation, governance and inclusive strategies.

“Nothing could be more important than finding new ways to increase participation in community sport,” Palmer said. “I admire the ability of our sports to be innovative, delivering new products in fresh ways with the focus on their participants.”

The ASC received more than 90 nominations across three award categories and acknowledged the finalists, including: Tennis Australia, Football Federation Australia, the National Rugby League, Melbourne City Football Club and Coolbinia Bombers Junior Football Club.

The Our Sporting Future conference has brought together about 300 delegates from the Australian sporting sector to hear from experts in the field on topics such as gender equality, the value of sport to the community, managing effective legacy from major events, embracing change and digital transformation, and more.

Michael Kennedy, Kerry Tavrou and Patrick McInerney

From left, CEO of Ski & Snowboard Australia Michael Kennedy, Gymnastics Victoria Innovation and Inclusion Manager, Kerry Tavrou and Patrick McInerney from Tennis Australia.

Background on the awards

Excellence in Participation award

Recognising an ASC-funded sporting organisation that is evolving to remain relevant, viable, and attract more participants as demonstrated through a participation strategy or initiative.

Winner: Ski and Snowboard Australia


Tennis Australia’s schools strategy which aimed to engage more primary school students and schools in tennis, involving considerable work with the education sector.

Football Federation Australia’s MiniRoos initiative began as a program of small-sided games and is now the largest club-based participation program for primary-aged children. By creating a variety of new game formats on smaller fields with modified equipment, clubs can make greater use of community space and improve young players’ involvement in the game.

Excellence in Innovation Award

Recognising innovative approaches by sport to get more people active, or improve governance, leadership and business systems.

Winner: Tennis Australia


National Rugby League’s MyLeague community digital engagement platform supported the Rugby League community, helping upskill coaches, trainers and volunteers while helping players and teams access competition information.

Melbourne City Football club for The City Strikers Walking Football project. This aimed to increase the physical activity of senior Victorians by piloting a modified and slower format of the game.

Play by The Rules Award

Recognising an initiative that has made a difference in sport to make it more inclusive, safe, and fair.

Winner: Gymnastics Victoria


Coolbinia Bombers Junior Football Club for its work in increasing participation by girls, indigenous players, new Australians and players with special needs.

The GingerCloud Foundation for its Modified Rugby Program to create inclusive pathways for girls, boys and young adults with learning and perceptual disabilities and their families.

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Did you know?

Gold Coast 2018 is the 5th Commonwealth Games to be hosted by Australia.

Quick numbers

11.6 million Australian adults participate in sport or physical activity three or more times per week.
3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school.
$10 billion is spent annually by Australians on fees for participation in sport or physical activity.
17 million Australian adults participate in a sport or physical activity every year.
650 thousand Australians either coach, teach or instruct sport.