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Drivers of Participation

A toolkit to support organisations to design and deliver participation outcomes, to get more Australians moving more often

Planning methodology

Planning is a key process that underpins the achievement of sustainable participation outcomes.

This resource has been developed by Sport Australia to help support sporting organisations to develop effective participation plans in accordance with a whole of sport strategy.

Whole of Sport Strategic plans are absolutely critical to delivering the best outcomes for the sport and its members

Whole of Sport Strategy Characteristics:

  • One strategy with a shared vision and direction for the sport to enable all levels to operate with the same purpose for the benefit of the sport as a whole
  • Plan developed with significant engagement with all key stakeholders
  • Consistency with the key strategic pillars and performance measures across national and state bodies
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation of the plan with key stakeholders.

A whole of sport strategy is not:

  • Each State Sporting Organisation being forced to adopt an existing National Sporting Organisation strategy
  • A strategy developed without consultation
  • A strategy dominated by one stakeholder group.

The following process is recommended by Sport Australia to support National Sporting Organisations, in conjunction with their State Sporting Organisations, develop effective participation plans to achieve positive participation growth.

Planning process summary


Whole of sport strategic plan in place

It is important that participation plans are developed in alignment with the whole of sport strategy. This approach ensures alignment and supports unified behaviour when implementing strategies.

Stakeholder identification and consultation

Sports have many stakeholders, internal and external that have an interest and impact upon a plan. The planning processes are successful when stakeholders are notified of the process and invited to contribute.

Establish a planning team

Establishing a small team of individuals from your organisation and stakeholder representatives that have a responsibility for the planning process. A planning team should not just be a board or staff member. Consider engaging a facilitator to lead planning process.


Build an evidence base

Whether assessing the current situation of an organisation, developing strategies or setting goals, reliable evidence is required to support the decisions of those involved in the planning process.

Develop the plan

Using a strong planning methodology provides a clear step by step approach to developing a plan. A common planning methodology is outlined below:

  1. Who are we?
    • Align participation planning to the whole of sport strategic plan, linking in with the sports purpose vision and values to achieve participation outcomes.
    • Identify the strategic priorities using Market Insights to inform a SWOT analysis.
  2. Where do we want to be and where are we now?
    • Undertake a gap analysis to compare the current state to the desired state against each of the participation priorities. To ensure you have considered all aspects of your strategy consider each of the Sport Australia Drivers of participation.
  3. How do we get there?
    • Using the Drivers of Participation as a guide, generate new thinking and initiatives through a gap analysis approach. Consider the change you need to make, outline the initiatives that will help to get you there.
  4. What do we need to get there?
    • Identify resources required to implement the initiatives that you have identified to achieve participation priorities.
  5. How do we know if we are on track?
    • Develop SMART key performance indicators to track progress of initiatives and delivery of the plan.

Stakeholder engagement

After draft plan is developed, consultation with identified stakeholders is critical to achieve buy in and support. It also provides insights that the planning team may not have considered.

Finalise plan

Feedback should be considered and plan amended where required.



Now the plan is finalised, activation of the strategies can now commence. Ensuring strategies are measurable provides a solid platform to review progress.

Communication Circulate the finalised plan to all key stakeholders
Performance measures On a quarterly basis, determine which KPIs your team has met and how you can continue to meet them, adapting your plan as necessary.
Future direction An opportunity to re-evaluate your priorities and course-correct based on past successes or failures.
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