Play Well

Play Well

Experts unite to help Australians to Play Well

The founder of parkrun Australia, a four-time Paralympian and the President of the Royal Life Saving Society have all signed on to help Aussies to Play Well as part of the nation’s first co-designed Sport Participation Strategy.

They are part of a 14-person group of experts announced as the Play Well Leadership Group that will oversee the implementation of the strategy and deliver on its vision that ‘everyone has a place in sport’.

Members met in Canberra at the AIS Campus for their first meeting today.

Tim Oberg, who founded parkrun Australia knows better than most the power of sport and community involvement.

When parkrun Australia started in 2011, it began as one event on the Gold Coast and grew to over 450 locations and more than one million participants across the Asia Pacific region.

“I believe that all children have the right to grow up in a healthy environment that allows them to play, have fun and achieve their full potential,” Oberg, now founder of the Healthy Kids Project, said.

“I am excited to share the knowledge and experiences I have gained during my tenure at parkrun Australia to help improve participation in sport and recreation by all Australians, and particularly children.”

Similar to the Project Steering Group that led the development of the strategy, the Play Well Leadership Group is made up of members that bring knowledge, expertise and insights from within and beyond the sport sector.

Rochelle Eime is also passionate about improving participation in sport and is thrilled to join the Leadership Group.

“It's not about more numbers but a positive and enjoyable experience that fosters continued participation and impacts positive health and wellbeing,” Eime, a Professor of Sport Science at Federation University and Deputy Chair at Vicsport, said.

The group will work closely with State/Territory partners, sporting organisations and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to bring the strategy to life.

“Creating great sporting environments and experiences is central to the strategy and I’d like to thank the members of the Leadership Group for their commitment to helping make Australian sport more welcoming, inclusive and fun,” ASC CEO Kieren Perkins OAM said.

“We’ve got an incredible opportunity ahead of us to align the sector, resources and investment so we can create lasting change as we look towards Brisbane 2032 and beyond.”

The strategy and its call to Play Well compliments Australia’s High Performance 2032+ Sport Strategy which is built on creating environments where athletes and sports can Win Well.

Play Well Leadership Group

  • Richard McInnes, Executive General Manager, Sport and Community Capability, ASC
  • Tim Oberg, Founder, Healthy Kids Project
  • Phil Hamdorf, Chair Disability Sports Australia, Chair Skate Australia
  • Alexandra Ash, President, Royal Life Saving Society
  • Rochelle Eime, Professor of Sport Science, Federation University
  • Glenn Williams CEO, Baseball Australia
  • Cameron Dare, Chairman, Team Sports 4 All
  • Trisha Squires, Head of AFL Queensland
  • Maia Tua-Davidson, Manager, Welcoming Clubs
  • Molina Asthana, Chair, Gymnastics Victoria and Founder, Multicultural Women in Sport
  • Mitch Gourley, Paralympian and National Manager, Sport4All
  • Rob Hyatt, Manager Education Programs Koorie Heritage Trust, Owner Cultural Pathways, Wotjobuluk/Gunai Kurnai
  • Tim Klar, CEO QSport (State partner rotation)
  • Matt Hayes, Director Strategy and Investment, Sport and Recreation, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (WA) (Government rotation)