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National Sports & Physical Activity Convention reaches new heights with record breaking attendance

National Sports & Physical Activity Convention reaches new heights with record breaking attendance
August 4, 2023

With the 2023 National Sports and Physical Activity Convention (NSC) having concluded last Friday, organisers have provided an update on the “overwhelming show of support and participation from the largest ever gathering of the sports industry, culminating in an extraordinary event marked by knowledge sharing, expertise exchange, groundbreaking experiences and the largest industry expo”.

Attracting more than 1000 attendees, NSC23 saw the sport and recreation industry unite in an unprecedented gathering to exchange knowledge and propel the industry towards progress.

With over 135 speakers across eight conference streams and 50 sessions, NSC 2023 delivered a wealth of invaluable insights and best practices from esteemed speakers and experts representing diverse sectors of the sports ecosystem making it the largest ever gathering of community sports professionals and a resounding success.

Delegates engaged in thought-provoking debates, exploring cutting-edge advancements, and examining innovative approaches to enhance the sports industry.

The convention, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, brought together sports professionals and stakeholders from all corners of the globe such as global thought leaders:

• Tim Hollingsworth OBE, Chief Executive, Sport England
• Professor Alfonso Jimenez, Chief Research & Innovation Officer, GO fit LAB
• Raelene Castle ONZM, Group Chief Executive, Sport NZ & High Performance Sport NZ
• Alan Goh, Chief Executive, Sport Singapore
• Patrick Johnson OLY, Culture and Safety Advisor, Sport Integrity Australia and Board Member, Brisbane 2032 Organising Committee
• Dr Andrew Leigh, Federal Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury & Federal Assistant Minister for Employment 
• Patrick Walker, Chief Executive, Australian Sports Foundation 
• Dr Hannah Macdougall PLY, Research Fellow, Deakin University
• Jan Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer, Sports Environment Alliance
• Claire Poole, founder and Chief Executive, Sport Positive
• Alexia Morgan, Group Manager, Business Improvement, Belgravia Leisure
• Sheila Nguyen, Head of Sustainability, FIFA Women's World Cup 2023
• Fiona Caniglia, Executive Director, Q Shelter
• Michael Reay, Head of Corporate Affairs, BlueScope, Australian Steel Products
• Ned Coten, Chief Executive, EngageRM 
• Richard McInnes, Chief Executive, Water Polo Australia 

A highlight of this year's event was the co-located National Sports Environment Conference, dedicated to discussing and promoting sustainable practices in sports. This collaboration fostered a stronger commitment to environmental responsibility within the sports community, laying the foundation for a greener and more sustainable future for sports and recreation.

The immense success of the NSC23 is attributed to the overwhelming support and engagement of key collaborators and industry professionals who actively contributed to the convention's growth. Attendees displayed their passion and dedication to the sports industry, making meaningful connections and fostering a collaborative spirit throughout the event.

One of the major draws of the convention was Australia’s largest and most immersive sports and recreation expo ever, featuring over 75 exhibitors, showcasing the latest innovations, products, and services available in the market. The expo served as a hub for attendees to explore and experience cutting-edge technologies, sports equipment, facility design and fit out, sports surfaces and industry services, offering an opportunity to engage with industry-leading brands and is truly the industry's source of the latest products and services driving the industry forward.

A significant milestone in the convention's history was the introduction of industry-first interactive and experiential activations. These engaging sessions provided a hands-on experience with the latest sports technologies, training methods, and innovations, inspiring attendees and fostering creativity within the industry.

NSC founder and Convenor, Martin Sheppard commented “we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the sports community for their unwavering support and enthusiasm

"The immense success of this year's event is a testament to the passion and commitment of industry professionals who continue to drive positive change and progress in sports and recreation. We are proud to have witnessed such an outstanding display of knowledge sharing, camaraderie, and dedication during the convention.

"NSC23 has undoubtedly set a new standard in sports events, redefining the way knowledge is shared, industry connections are made, and innovations are embraced.”

As the event concluded on a high note, participants and organisers alike look forward to building on this momentum for 2024 which will be a joint global convention with impact, collaborating with the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) to target Southern Hemisphere clientele with a stronger spectrum of international speakers, peak bodies and exhibitors.

Sheppard added "this will allow aligned global thinking with the national agenda."

The 2024 National Sports and Physical Activity Convention will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on 27th and 28th June next year.

Click here for more information on NSC 2024 in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

Images: The industry expo at the 2023 National Sports and Physical Activity Convention (top) and the NSC 2023 Oration with Tim Hollingsworth (far right) and (from left): Dr Hannah Macdougall, Patrick Johnson, Dr Andrew Leigh and Alan Goh.

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10th June 2023 - IAKS ANZ to showcase member benefits at National Sports and Physical Activity Convention

6th June 2023 - National Sports Convention announces details of 2023 NSC Oration

10th March 2023 - Group announced to steer Australia’s first sector codesigned National Sport Participation Strategy

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