To address current and emerging issues in key strategic areas, the sport and recreation industry in Western Australia must tackle the following Challenges over the next five years.
The current affordability barrier that is preventing many young people from low socio-economic families participating in sport and recreation must be overcome.
- Integrity and Values
Sport and recreation interests must proactively develop responses to safeguard the integrity and wholesome values which make sport and recreation a fundamental part of Australian culture. The integrity that has encouraged participants, partners, sponsors and governments to invest time, effort and resources needs active protection.
- Public Open Space and Urban Form
Urban parklands and green spaces for sport and active recreation are integral components of urban infrastructure and make a significant contribution to community health and wellbeing. In order to deliver public open space which meets the needs of communities into the future we must be efficient with resources, focus on the function of sites, provide equitable access to facilities and secure strategically important regional scale spaces.
- Adventure and Outdoor Recreation
Western Australia is a destination point for numerous adventure and outdoor recreation pursuits. Stakeholders from the public, private and community sectors must engage collaboratively to deliver high-quality activities, services and facilities to satisfy and sustain the growing demand, while protecting the environments where these activities take place.
A small number of high profile sports with significant participation bases and integrated competition structures now have robust commercially-oriented business models, while community-based sport and recreation organisations are increasingly reliant on public investment for their survival. Public investment in sport and recreation organisations should factor in the capacity of these organisations to source commercial revenue.
- Diversity in Leadership and Management
Initiatives are needed to expedite diversity in Western Australia’s sport and
recreation landscape at all levels of leadership and management. Sport and
recreation organisations must be proactive to increase the contribution that
currently underrepresented groups within the community, particularly women, are able to make to the industry.
- Financial [Un]Certainty
The sport and recreation industry must optimise the value derived from public and private funding in tight fiscal circumstances. Sport and recreation stakeholders must be strong advocates for the many benefits that are enabled by continued investment.
- Leveraging Facilities Investment
Stakeholders must leverage the investment made in sport and recreation facilities and infrastructure over the past decade. Securing high profile events and increasing visitor and local participation will add vibrancy to our communities and convert these places and spaces into business drivers, delivering extensive economic benefits to Western Australia.
- Life Course and Life Stage Participation
The achievement of improved participation rates in sport and recreation, and more broadly active lifestyles, will require innovative responses to the life course and life stage circumstances of Western Australians. A combination of expanding pioneering initiatives and adapting successful concepts from other jurisdictions can stimulate healthier and socially beneficial outcomes for our community.
- Monitoring, Evidence and Research
Research and evidence-based decision making are increasingly important for sport and recreation. Availability and utilisation of reputable information will be vital for future policy development and strategic planning.
- Participation, Culture and Affordability
Sport and recreation provides opportunities to embrace those otherwise often excluded in the community. Opportunities should be affordable and provide equitable access to encourage participation of people from diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds.
Western Australia’s sport and recreation landscape must embrace opportunities to progress the industry through new and emerging technologies. Astute sourcing of technological innovations that enhance core values, support participation and performance outcomes and promote organisational sustainability will be crucial.
- Vital Volunteers
The engagement of volunteers in sport and recreation is vital for the industry to thrive and deliver personal and social benefits. Sport and recreation organisations must devise responsive and accommodating approaches to recruit, support and retain the vital volunteer base which facilitates the delivery of sport and recreation activities.