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Participation Design Toolkit

Participation products and experiences

Information and resources to assist in designing participant-centred products and experiences

Sports strategies, plans and objectives often highlight participation growth, which can be achieved through recruitment, retention and transition tactics.

Product design helps a sport to develop experiences that attract new participants, keeps people connected and engaged with the sport for longer or transitions people from one experience to another.

Each sport should make informed decisions about the participants and markets they will target and the tactics that will best achieve their participation objectives. The graphic below highlights potential opportunities to consider when prioritising and designing products.

Key resources


Using data and insights to target key market segments can be an effective strategy to attract new people to a sport. Segments include:


Develop a love and connection to sport early in life.

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Targeted populations

Create inclusive products for new markets or demographics.

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Design a welcoming experience and appropriate offer for people who may lack confidence and/or fitness to join a sport.

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Insufficiently active

Encourage people to join your sport by offering flexibility and fun experiences.

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Appeal to the active market by offering an alternative or additional sport or product choice.

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Understanding why people leave your sport can help address issues, barriers and reduce your participant churn. Consider the following:


Design experiences that are less competitive, lower commitment and fun.

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Seek feedback and be prepared to change products to improve the participant's experience.


Target lapsed members by addressing their reasons for dropout through your product offers.


Connecting participants from one product or experience to another can positively impact sustainable growth. Examples include:

School to club

Encourage school participants to connect with community sport by offering fun, engaging and age appropriate sport.

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Casual to engaged

Develop a product suite that encourages participants to deepen the connection they have with the sport.

Life transition points

Design products to cater for the impact of major life events and transitions.

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Changing motivations

Understand that people's motivations are different and may even change at times eg learning, playing, competing, volunteering etc.

The opportunities above are key considerations in the 'Discover and Define the Problem' stage of the Design Approach.

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