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New trends to shape Australian sport through the Green and Gold decade

07 December 2022

A ground-breaking new report has identified six megatrends that will reshape Australian sport on the Green and Gold decade to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Prepared by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and national science agency CSIRO, The Future of Australia report highlights the significant shifts expected to play out in Australian sport over the next ten years and beyond.

The report builds on the landmark first sport megatrends report published in 2013.

A team of leading researchers from the ASC and CSIRO consulted widely with sports to map changes caused by social, political, environmental, technological, legal and economic conditions.

The six megatrends identified will influence the Australian sport sector into the future, including:

  1. Escalate the exercise, modernising sport to create new pathways for all Australians
  2. New horizons, adopting new and emerging technologies to help change the game
  3. The next arena, the rise of entertainment sports including augmented reality, virtual reality and e-sports
  4. Mind the gap, bringing Australia together across the generational and societal divides
  5. Our best sporting side, encouraging diversity, inclusivity, fair play and sustainability
  6. The perfect pivot, adapting sports for a more uncertain world.

Minister for Sport, Anika Wells, said the six megatrends provided an important tool to help the Brisbane 2032 Games deliver strong outcomes for all Australians.

“The first megatrends report predicted a rise in fitness and gym activities and an increased take up of lifestyle and adventure sports like surfing, skateboarding and rock climbing,” Minister Wells said.

“As we begin the Green and Gold decade ahead of Brisbane 2032, it’s crucial we use this new research to capitalise on the opportunities ahead and promote equality, inclusivity and integrity through sport.”

ASC CEO Kieren Perkins OAM said the ASC was already focusing its efforts on the trends identified in the latest report.

“Many of these challenges relate directly to our key focus areas as outlined in our strategic vision like building the capability of, and driving innovation in sport, and promoting and supporting inclusive, diverse and safe sporting environments.

“We want to deliver a system that we can all be proud of. One where sport is inviting and welcoming to all Australians, all of the time. The findings will help us ensure we are at the top of our game and well placed to embrace and take advantage of this defining era for Australian sport,” Mr Perkins said.

Jon Whittle, Director of CSIRO’s Data61 said the megatrends can help decision-makers and sport strategists understand the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“Next generation technology is reshaping the sporting field as is a new generation of Australians with new habits, values and attitudes to sport and physical activity.”

“The 2032 sporting landscape will look vastly different to what we see today as sporting populations and organisations seek greater diversity, access and integrity in sport at all levels. This report will play an important role in shaping long-term policy, strategic planning and investment decisions for the future.”

Mapping changes

Old megatrends (2013 report)

New megatrends (2022 report)

A perfect fit – personalised sport for health and fitness

Escalate the exercise – new pathways to sport

Tracksuits to business suits – market pressures and new business models

New horizons – science and technology changing the game

From extreme to mainstream – the rise of lifestyle sports

The next arena – the rise of entertainment sports

Everybody’s game – demographic, generational and cultural change

Mind the gap – bringing Australia together across generational and societal divides

More than sport – the attainment of health and community, and overseas aid objectives via sport

Our best sporting side – safe, sustainable and inclusive for all

New wealth, new talent – economic growth and sports development in Asia

The perfect pivot – adapting in an uncertain world

Underwater view of a woman swimming under a wave with a surfboard.
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