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Sport Australia releases resources to help people return to activity

Sport Australia releases resources to help people return to activity
February 19, 2021

Sport Australia has today released a 'Participation Design Toolkit', aimed at helping sports design new products to attract and retain participants.

The new resource includes information, resources and tools to help sports develop effective participation plans and design products that focus on creating an enjoyable experience for all participants and volunteers.

Introducing the Toolkit, Sport Australia acting Chief Executive, Rob Dalton stated "we know from our research that COVID-19 has led people away from sport to physical activity or less activity all together.

“While 93% of Australian children aged 5-13 participated in physical activity, only one in four said sport was a main interest or hobby, and more than half (52%) of children surveyed said sport needed to fit in with other things they do, highlighting the competition sport is facing from other interests and activities.”

“By working with sports to design participation experiences that are fun, inclusive and participant-centred, we can improve Australians’ attitudes towards club sport and encourage more people to be active.”

Dalton said the toolkit can help sports evolve their existing products or design new programs that meet the needs of today’s sporting participants through COVID-19 and beyond, revealing products that aren’t competitive and require a low commitment to appeal to the growing market of adults looking for social sport, and junior programs that help build fundamental motor skills, confidence and the motivation to be active.

Explaining the toolkit is another example of how the Australian Government is supporting sport in a challenging environment, Federal Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck explained "we know sport is crucial for Australia’s recovery and this toolkit, along with Sport Australia’s Game Plan gives clubs and sporting organisations the knowledge, resources and tools they need to develop new products and programs to not only entice participants back to sport but keep them playing for longer and enjoying the physical and mental benefits playing sport brings.”

Developed in consultation with national sporting organisations and VicHealth, the toolkit includes market and life stage insights and evidence-based enabling approaches to participation design.

Backing the resource, Athletics Australia General Manager Growth and Development, Adam Bishop stated “the Participation Design Toolkit is an excellent resource for sports looking to develop or refine their participation product offerings.

“The toolkit is particularly valuable in that it pulls together existing Sport Australia resources and demonstrates how they can be used to inform the design of new participation products, refining existing products or as thought starters when approaching participation planning.”

Hockey Australia General Manager - Growth, Legal and Strategy, Michael Johnston added “having the breadth of Sport Australia’s quality participation design resources in one place is invaluable to sporting organisations undertaking participation design and planning. With the launch of Hockey’s new National Participation and Engagement Plan, we see huge opportunities to access the toolkit and promote it among our stakeholders in bringing our plan to life.”

Sport Australia’s Participation Design Toolkit can be found at

Images: NRL junior participation (top) and Australian Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck (below).

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