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Global and local speakers to chart the changing face of sport and recreation

Global and local speakers to chart the changing face of sport and recreation
April 10, 2016

With a growing population, Australia’s sporting bodies and government at all levels are struggling to address the shortage in community sport facilities to cope with the continued increase in demand.

Studies from the Australian Sports Commission in 2013 and 2014 around Market Segmentation show that as a nation we are moving from traditional sports participation to more recreational and fitness focussed.

This challenge is being felt globally and many governments, sports, education and the commercial sectors are investing significantly to encourage a greater proportion of the population to play, recreate and participate in sport. This participation is driven by people doing it for fun, for fitness, for social competition or self-development.

In Australia, an increase in participation by a mere 2% would probably see local government funded community sport infrastructure would not be able to cope.

The National Sports Convention, which is being in held in Sydney at Rosehill Racecourse, 23rd and 24th June will be bringing together nearly 80 speakers from around Australia and across the globe to explore this double challenge.

Exploring how to encourage more people to be active, through play, recreation and participation in sport is the key focus by exploring how organisations are being more innovative to reach segments of the community who aren’t as interested in traditional approaches as they were decades ago. The second challenge is what infrastructure facilities, programs, activities and technological solutions are needed to support more people being active.

A theme of innovation is driving the Convention, as many people in the industry have expressed a belief that for the Australian play, recreation and sports sector to be successful, its peak bodies for sport, health and fitness, recreation and play really need to challenge the way we are thinking, planning and delivering participation opportunities. Thinking differently may just make the innovation that Australia needs to address the generational challenge that we are facing with more and more people becoming sedentary and the subsequent health impacts.

It seems that many people are expecting the Australian Sports Commission to be the saviour but they seem to be trying to do more with less, so there needs to be a realistic expectation on the peak bodies and what they can really do.

The organisers have looked for global inspiration to complement innovative ideas and strategies from Australia. Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England, where a whole of Government Sports Strategy has just been released to much praise, is a speaker, along with Peter Miskimmin, Chief Executive of Sport New Zealand – which has just reviewed their 10 year strategy.

With Miskimmin speaking on learnings from the review, both chief executives will be joined by the Australian Sport Commission equivalent, Simon Hollingsworth, to share learnings and explore where community sport and local government fit in.

Many of the Country’s top sports will be joining the Convention to explain where they see their vision and non-better than David Gallop, Chief Executive of Football Federation Australia, sets his vision for the sport to grow. With many of the challenges in sports facilities for local government coming from this sport due to it really becoming the largest growth sport in Australia what will Gallop be sharing and what support can he provide local government.

Program Convenor Martin Sheppard, who has worked with many of the collaborators to develop this comprehensive program, believes that to really touch more people and keep them active that, all those involved in activity provision need to start at a young age and get children playing outside again.

Sheppard explains “if children don’t know how to play at a young age they will not playing sport later in life.”

To address this massive challenge, the National Sports Convention is supported by peak bodies, state and national sporting organisations, and key industry stakeholders including Community Sport Australia and the Australian Sports Technology Network.

There are five streams for the Convention – all of which are needed to cover the key aspects that are making a difference to engaging and supporting more people being active. The five themes are:

Programs, Activities and Events to grow participation – with case studies from around Australia, New Zealand and internationally this stream will provide

Sports Turf – Natural, Hybrid and Synthetic to cope with the growing demands that is expected with the surge in population we have had over the past two decades

Sports and Recreation Facility Management will explore the latest trends in the provision of indoor facilities that are encouraging more people to play, keep fit, have fun and how the commercial sector are taking traditional sports and fitness programs and making them more fun, entertaining and are successfully growing participation in a manner that sport and local government can really embrace.

Sports Technology – with the majority of participation activities being around fitness the adoption of sports technology to motivate, record and provide feedback to individuals is becoming more and more important. How can this technology be used to assist sports clubs and peak bodies to grow.

Play Symposium on the Thursday will focus on how to develop the challenges facing play into opportunities to encourage more participation, then how to manage the risk and what are the best surface designs and technology to use to make the playgrounds so appealing that the children will return and enjoy playing more frequently.

In addition there will be additional Conferences and one day Symposiums from key collaborators include the Australian Sporting Goods Association symposium, a rugby Symposium between World Rugby and the Australian Rugby Union; and a hockey Symposium with Hockey Australia and the FIH (international hockey federation).

In addition to the Conference, Symposiums and masterclasses there is a large Sport Expo, with an estimated 60 stands around the themes of Programs and events to grow participation, Sports turf, Sport Facility Management, Playgrounds and Technology. The Expo is free for the industry to attend and there will be product launches and demonstrations throughout the day.

The inaugural Australian Sport, Recreation and Play Industry Awards will be awarded at the Industry Cocktail Party in the Sports Expo on the evening of Thursday 23rd June. The awards are the first truly Australian awards for the whole sector and will celebrate innovation in the sector. Each winner will receive a financial prize, and be submitted into the Overall Innovation Award which has a $5,000 first prize from Fieldturf Tarket.

With more than 80 peak body organisations representing from around Australia and New Zealand the conference aims to challenge people thinking by providing examples of best practice globally which can be used locally. If any local government, sports club or organisation or commercial service provider really wants to understand how the industry is changing and what they can do to embrace the opportunity they need to be there.

The National Sports Convention is being held at Sydney's Rosehill Racecourse on 23rd and 24th June.

Click here to view details of the National Sports Convention in the Australasian Leisure Management Industry Calendar.






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