Sport Australia Highlights
AusPlay State of Play
The AusPlay survey is Australia’s largest and most comprehensive sport and physical activity survey, funded and led by Sport Australia. For the first time, in April 2019, AusPlay revealed Australia’s top 20 sports and physical activities along with detailed ‘State of Play’ reports on each.
Recreational activities like walking, fitness/gym, swimming, running and cycling top the list, with football at number six being the most popular organised sport for Australian participants.
The first three years of AusPlay recorded an increase in the overall number of Australians participating in sport and physical activity: 63% of Australians interviewed in 2018 had participated in sport or physical activity at least three times per week compared to 59.9% in 2016.
AusPlay provides invaluable data to help inform governments at all levels, sporting organisations and physical activity providers. It assists the sport sector to understand the participation landscape more clearly and identify strategies to grow participation.
Sport Australia leads governance reform through the One Management project, which involves supporting NSOs to transition to a whole of sport business model incorporating the three operating model streams of strategy, workforce and financial management.
The One Management project is being implemented with pilot sports: Cycling, Water Polo, Diving, Golf, Hockey, Netball, Paddle, Rowing, Surfing, Sailing, Ski & Snow, Swimming and Triathlon.
Nine of the selected pilot sports have approved an implementation plan for One Management reform.
Sport Australia’s Governance Principles were reviewed and updated through consultation with the sector.
Governance Education programs were conducted across four capital cities.
A strategic roadmap was co-designed with NSOs for people with disability to advance the sector and realise an agreed vision and mission.
Move It AUS Campaign
The Move It AUS campaign was launched in August 2018 as Australia’s national physical activity awareness campaign to address declining levels of physical activity in our community. The call to action is to encourage all Australians to find 30 minutes a day to be physically active.
The campaign platform is supported by the Find Your 30 website which offers practical ideas on how all Australians can Find Your 30 — thirty minutes of heart rate raising exercise per day.
The second wave of the campaign that launched in February 2019 specifically targeted parents, and was planned to reach 95 per cent of the target audience, representing approximately 7.8 million Australians.
Beyond the platform delivered by Sport Australia, Move It AUS has been supported by NSOs and commercial partners to a media value of more than $1.4m in its first eight months.
During the in-market period from August 2018 to June 2019, campaign awareness was 34 per cent, above the industry benchmark of 28 per cent.
Research has found that those aware of the Move It AUS campaign were significantly more likely to achieve 150+ minutes of exercise in a normal week.
Since the launch of the campaign there have been over 1.5 million visits to the Sport Australia website; 236,000 views to the Find Your 30 website; 1.23 million internet searches for Move It AUS and Find Your 30 and had 24.6 million social media views.
High Performance Investment Framework
In late 2018 the AIS launched a new performance investment framework to provide longer term stability for NSOs and to enable agility and capacity to respond to shifting needs across the high performance landscape.
Funding for a majority of priority sports will be a combination of longer-term baseline funding that enables better planning and continuity, and contestable impact resourcing that provides the system a level of agility to seize new opportunities.
Using this approach, the majority of Olympic and Paralympic sports had their current funding levels guaranteed through to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. Winter sports — Olympic and Paralympic — had full funding extended through to December 2020, and their baseline funding through to the 2022 Games in Beijing.
A contestable portion of funding was introduced to allow the AIS and NSOs to respond to and capitalise on new opportunities in performance.
The AIS also established a pool of strategic projects that will see investment into sports for targeted campaigns or provide project support ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
Gold Medal Ready program
In late 2018 the AIS launched Gold Medal Ready in partnership with the Australian Army to assist Australian athletes deliver their best performance under pressure at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and beyond.
More than 150 athletes and coaches will participate in the program before the 2020 Olympics, with education, skill development, mentoring and specifically designed activities delivered in partnership with the Australian Army’s Special Operations Command.
A group of Olympic champions, known as the Gold Medal Alumni, is playing a crucial role in the program by sharing their experiences with athletes and coaches. The Gold Medal Alumni comprises athletes with a collective 80 Olympic Games appearances and 48 gold medals.
The program provides opportunities for Australia’s Olympic gold medallists to give back to the next generation of athletes, while building personal skills that will help them in their sport and post-sport careers.
Gold Medal Ready is delivered by the AIS Applied Technology and Innovation Team, and is aligned with our mission to lead and enable a united high performance system that supports Australian athletes and teams to achieve podium success.
Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement
The AIS continued its commitment to the high performance sector, developing system capability through mental health, conduct and professionalism, personal development, career and education and athlete engagement.
The AIS funded Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement (AW&E) managers within 18 NSOs and has committed to extending this support to an additional seven NSOs. The national expansion of these services has enhanced direct support for athletes, and has also led to greater collaboration across Australia’s high performance sporting system.
The Mental Health Referral Network was launched in March 2019, providing funded for athletes to access AIS-endorsed psychologists and mental health practitioners across the country, with the program extending out to psychiatrists and neuropsychologists.
The AIS partnered with Lifeline to deliver the Lifeline Community Custodian program to help raise awareness of mental illness. Twenty-one elite athletes from a range of NSOs and the NIN are working as Custodians to help shine a spotlight on this important issue, share their own personal stories and get involved in community events supported by Lifeline around the country.
Joint SportAUS/AIS Highlights
Women’s Talent Program
The Women’s Talent Program is a joint initiative of Sport Australia and the AIS, which is designed to address an under representation of women in high performance coaching and sport executive positions. These positions had been identified as requiring more depth and diversity in the Australian Sporting Sector.
The programs are funded in partnership with the Office for Women, and 17 coaches and 16 executives were selected from more than 250 applicants to participate in the inaugural programs. The programs have been intentionally designed to support women in identifying opportunities and removing barriers to transformation with a specific focus on 3 key areas; the participants’ sense of self, relationships with others and the sporting sector in which they operate.
At the launch of the programs at the Women in High Performance Coaching Forum, held in Canberra in March 2019, Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer emphasised that while advances continue to be made for elite female athletes in Australia, the lack of opportunity for women in other areas of sport, particularly executive and HP coaching positions, was intolerable.
‘Despite the recent appointment of female CEOs in sports such as basketball, equestrian and water polo, of the 63 sports we fund, only 15 — less than a quarter — have female CEOs,’ Palmer said ‘Sport Australia will continue to advocate for progress’.
There is a similar story in high performance coaching. Of the 160 coaches accredited at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, only 15 — or 9 per cent — were female. That was down from 12 per cent at the London 2012 Olympics. AIS CEO Peter Conde has spoken about the lack of female high performance coaches being an issue across all high performance sport, and one that the AIS is determined to lead on behalf of the high performance sport system.
‘It’s encouraging to see female coaches from professional sporting codes embracing the opportunity to be part of these programs because we need a collective sport solution. Let’s challenge the status quo and address the very real issue about why a greater percentage of women are not progressing in high performance coaching roles’ Conde said.
The programs play an important role in identifying, developing, progressing and retaining talent that can challenge the status quo and increase diversity in sport.
AIS Sport Performance Awards
The fifth annual AIS Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs) were held on 13 December 2018. Almost 400 guests attended the event at The Star in Sydney to celebrate the outstanding individual and team achievements across the Australian high performance sport system.
Awards were presented across 11 categories for performances achieved during the 2018 calendar year, including the newly introduced Sport Australia Award. This award recognises the value of fair play and integrity and was won by 10,000m runners Celia Sullohern, Madeline Hills and Eloise Wellings, who helped define the spirit of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games by waiting at the finish line to embrace and congratulate the last- placed athlete, Lineo Chaka of the African nation of Lesotho.
Almost 20,000 Australians voted to determine the two public choice awards, with retiring Australian V8 driver Craig Lowndes leading the public vote for ABC Sports Personality of the Year and wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley accepting the award for Best Sporting Moment on behalf of Australian Paralympic athletes.
Fearnley, who won gold in his final marathon for Australia at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, was chosen to carry the Australian flag in the closing ceremony to celebrate his personal achievement as well as the successful integration of para-sport into the Games.
‘Through the medium of sport, that is what our movement represents, hope. Hope that if sport can adjust to include those with disabilities, maybe community can follow,’ Fearnley said.
Cycling took out three major awards—High Performance Program of the Year (Cycling Australia), Male Athlete of the Year (Rohan Dennis) and Emerging Athlete of the Year (Luke Plapp). It was also a special night for the Fox family, with Paddle Australia athlete Jessica Fox and mother Myriam Fox named Female Athlete and Coach of the Year respectively.
Paralympic snowboarding gold medallist Simon Patmore was honoured with Para- performance of the Year after becoming the first Australian man to win a medal at a Summer and Winter Paralympics. The Australian Kookaburras were named Team of the Year, having taken out the Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy in 2018.
Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips accepted the Award for Leadership for his role in a successful Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.