The Sport 2030 report will provide a roadmap for future success for sport in this country and will create an even better and more successful national sports sector. It means that in 2030 sport will continue to be a key point of our national pride. Our Olympic and Paralympic teams and national sporting teams will continue to achieve podium success and our athletes, and their journeys will be a source of inspiration for the next generations.
While some parts of Australian sport are thriving, others are battling to keep up. A two-speed sport economy has resulted where mainstream sports are growing, thanks to burgeoning revenue streams while other sports struggle and sometimes require government funding to stay afloat. With continued pressure on public funding, it is more important than ever that the money available is used as wisely as possible.
Many of Australia’s sporting organisations have served us well for more than half a century, but one of the key challenges is the ability of current organisations to adapt to and keep up with the pace of change. If Australian sport is to thrive in the face of these challenges, it requires a clear vision and clever investment in areas that will support a healthy, successful and fair sport industry. Responsibility for sport is shared across all levels of government as is investment in sporting infrastructure, but there remains a significant opportunity for greater collaboration to ensure the best results at an elite and community level.
One of the key goals that we at Tredwell have taken from Sport 2030 is for Australia to be the most active, healthy and successful sporting nation known for our integrity, vibrant participation base, thriving sports organisations and world-leading sports industry, as well as our elite competitive results. This means, more than ever before, that the Australian Government will play a key role, alongside state, territory and local governments in establishing a more collaborative model of sports infrastructure funding. that meets the ever-changing needs of Australian communities.
An important and interesting change that we noted from the report in delivering Sport 2030 target outcomes is how sport is defined for the purposes of Government policy and programs. The definition of ‘sport’ will no longer be just about organised and high-performance sport competition but will be broadened to include physical activity. This means ‘sport’ and sport policy will now include a broad range of physical activities including informal, unstructured activity such as walking, riding, swimming and running as well as traditional, structured sport and new and evolving sport and physical activities such as mixed martial arts, “ninja” style obstacle courses and stand-up-paddle boarding.
With the change to the definition of ‘sport’ all Australians, regardless of age, gender and ability should have the opportunity to be engaged in sport and physical activity throughout every stage of their life with the ability to access infrastructure, play and participate. Therefore, as sport and recreation planners, we need to ensure that all new developments have sporting infrastructure that is accessible to all, have physical activity as a core design element, and provide for future sporting needs of new communities. Further, we need to ensure that sporting infrastructure supports longer hours of use and include programs that encourage more flexible use of facilities by individuals, sports, and community groups.
Not only will the Australian Government play a key role, alongside other state, territory and local government bodies in terms of infrastructure funding, they will also partner with sporting organisations and other physical activity providers which have a national footprint to deliver programs that encourage inactive people to undertake more physical activity. This will include people with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, low-medium income households, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from regional and remote areas and women and girls. The Australian Government will also support organisations to provide sports and other physical activity opportunities for older Australians through accessible networks including workplaces, aged care services, retirement villages and sports and recreation centres.
Sport 2030 points out that at a local and regional level, communities are seeking to host national and state based sporting events, generating vital tourism and small business revenue. These local sporting events provide a valuable injection of funds to local and regional economies. The Australian Masters Games held in Adelaide in 2015 generated a $12.6 million economic impact for the local economy and in Tasmania in 2017 it generated an economic impact of $8.3 million. In 2017, the Kanga Cup Football tournament, the largest international youth football tournament in the Southern Hemisphere, generated $5.2 million for the local economy in Canberra. At a local level, a vibrant sporting culture can transform by using the existing strengths of our communities, regions and natural environment, Sport 2030 wants to create a new way of thinking as it relates to the transition from the old economy to the new.
Sound planning about physical activity policy and future investment needs to be informed by quality data. AusPlay, through Sport Australia, will remain the centrepiece for measuring physical activity at a national population level. AusPlay will continue to generate the data needed to understand how much Australians are moving and their motives for getting physically active, to help sports and governments make better strategic decisions.
Achieving success of Sport 2030 is everybody’s business and The Australian Government has a clear and bold vision for sport in Australia — to ensure we are the world’s most active and healthy nation, known for our integrity and sporting success.