Australians love sport – it is a defining characteristic of our national culture and one that brings our diverse population together. Whether it is for the friendships, fitness, the thrill of the competition or the pure love of the game, sport is important to Australians. We are fiercely proud of our international sporting reputation and respected for the achievements of our athletes on the world stage.
It is for these reasons the Australian Government is a significant investor in sport. This investment is wide ranging and includes: helping our best athletes represent Australia; getting more Australians – particularly young Australians – active in sport; protecting the integrity of sport; and hosting major international events such as the forthcoming 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The benefit to Australians from this investment is significant: economic, health, social and community.
But Australia’s rich sporting tradition, and the significant value derived from it, is facing challenges.
Australians are increasingly time poor. Demographic, social and economic factors are influencing who plays sport, how they play and what sports are being played. With these changes new preferences are emerging; Australians want greater flexibility, more tailored products and sports that suit their lifestyle. The ASC must be at the forefront of helping sport thrive in a changing environment. The challenge is to ensure that sporting organisations and clubs remain relevant, grow and prosper. Play.Sport.Australia., released in 2015, is our game plan to get more Australians, particularly young Australians, playing sport more often.
On the international stage, competition is constantly intensifying and improving. Many other nations have now replicated our innovations, tapped into our expertise and made strategic investments, and as a result have become stronger competitors in international sport. To retain our pre-eminent position in world sport, the Australian high performance system needs to do things smarter and better. Australia’s Winning Edge 2012–2022 is our strategy for moving from world class to world best and is focused on ensuring that the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Australia sports system remains on top of the game in the current environment.