Fair Play

Strategic framework for inclusive sport and recreation.

If you are involved in the delivery of sport and recreation, in either a formal or informal capacity, this document is relevant to you and your organisation.


For many years, there has been a growing awareness of the social, physical and health benefits of citizen participation in community sport and recreation. People with disabilities, their families and carers, are also seeking these benefits and are increasingly seeking access to their local sport and recreation providers, with varying degrees of success.

To complement these local efforts, the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Disability Services Commission have been working together to facilitate the inclusion of people with disabilities in sporting and recreational activities throughout Western Australia. A more coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach is necessary to ensure that the social and health benefits are available to all Western Australians with disabilities.

The statewide strategic framework for inclusive sport and recreation is the first step towards achieving this aim. The framework has been developed through widespread consultation with a range of groups, including people with disabilities, state and local government agencies, state sporting associations, disability recreation providers and mainstream sport and recreation providers, and represents a shared vision for inclusive sport and recreation. The framework has been built from the goodwill and cooperative relationships between these groups, with developmental direction from a broad Industry Reference Group.

Successful implementation of the framework largely depends upon the level of commitment to its Vision and Values by all groups, including the broader community, private and industry partners, and State and local government agencies.

If you are involved in the delivery of sport and recreation, in either a formal or informal capacity, this document is relevant to you and your organisation.

The framework focuses on inclusion, rather than ‘disability’. As disability intersects with gender, ethnicity, Aboriginality, cultural and linguistic diversity and socioeconomic status, it is important that all members of the sport and recreation community develop practices, attitudes and skills that can effectively incorporate this rich diversity at the local community level. In turn, the development of inclusive services should have broader benefits to other community members who have been unable to enjoy the benefits of community sport and recreation.

Inclusion Spectrum: A diagram listing Open Activity, Modified Activity, Parallel Activity, Disabled Sport Activity and Separate Activity

It is anticipated that the framework will be underpinned by a wide range of strategies, initiated by government and non-government organisations and designed to achieve the outcomes within each priority area. The framework is a plan of action and State Government funding will support those strategies and actions that sit within it.

In partnership with representatives from the sport and recreation industry and people with disabilities, the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Disability Services Commission are fully committed to reviewing the framework’s effectiveness within the first 24 months of operation.

Mr Ron Alexander 
Director General 
Department of Sport and Recreation

Dr Ruth Shean
Director General
Disability Services Commission

Stakeholders: a diagram depicting a soccer pitch with siz pieces of a puzzle for each group of stakerholder including community, advocacy, state government, local government, funding groups and sport and recreation providers.



  • People with disabilities
  • Carers
  • Family
  • Others


  • Physical Activity Taskforce
  • Sports Federation
  • Disability advocacy groups

State Government

  • Department of Sport and Recreation
  • Disability Services Commission

Local Government

  • Leisure centres
  • Recreation centres

Funding Groups

  • Lotterywest
  • Healthway
  • Private sponsors

Sport and Recreation Providers

  • State sporting associations
  • Community groups
  • Clubs
  • Commercial organisations


Our communities provide an inclusive environment where all Western Australians participate equitably, in a spirit of mutual respect, experiencing the benefit of sport and recreation.


The six values have been developed collaboratively to guide the work of the Department of Sport and Recreation, the Disability Services Commission and those sectors, public, private and community, that are involved in and have responsibility for the delivery of sport and recreation.

  1. Inclusion: we are committed to building communities that are welcoming, inclusive and encourage health and wellbeing for all members.
  2. Accessibility: we want to create communities where all people are able to access opportunities for development, fulfilment and citizenship.
  3. Diversity: we appreciate difference as an integral part of our society and value the unique contribution of individuals and communities.
  4. Equity: we value fairness and openness in the decision making and the allocation of advocacy, supports and information.
  5. Dignity: we support the rights of individuals to make choices and be empowered to make decisions about their own lives.
  6. Respect: we value practices that uphold individuality and personal and community choice.

Priority areas

Five priority areas were identified through the consultation process, namely leadership; capacity building; partnerships; advocacy, awareness and promotion; and regional Western Australia. These five priority areas are significant for everyone.


Through leadership it is possible to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and part of a team. Leaders can create a climate that supports the development of an inclusive culture, fostering individual growth, participation and development.

While government can take an active leadership role in the development of inclusive sport and recreation communities, everyone shares the responsibility to foster leaders within their own field. Leadership occurs at all levels within our communities.


  • The Department of Sport and Recreation is recognised as the lead government agency in promoting, developing and supporting inclusive sport and recreation at all levels.
  • Government agencies, both State and local, with expertise in their relevant areas play a leadership role through providing information, expertise and support for inclusive sport and recreation.
  • Local government supports local community leaders in their role as inclusive practitioners. Community support the development of individuals and initiatives that encourage and support inclusive practice.
  • Individuals and community providers of sport and recreation opportunities are encouraged to show leadership in inviting local community members to participate in their activities, which are supported and facilitated through government information and promotion.

Capacity building

Increasing the ability and capacity of communities, private organisations and government to meet the sport and recreation needs of a more diverse range of people is the second key to achieving this vision. The commitment

of government, industry, private and community partners and of all people working or volunteering in sport and recreation is of primary importance. Opportunities to share knowledge, skills, expertise and know-how provide us all with the necessary resources to undertake the extensive task of building inclusive practices at the local level.


  • The Department of Sport and Recreation develops and implement strategies that build the capacity of all groups to offer sport and recreation to a wide range of people with disabilities.
  • Local government authorities and other State Government agencies provide assistance and support through the sharing of information, expertise and resources at strategic and local levels.
  • Sport and recreation groups, both formal and informal, commit to explore and implement capacity building projects. Communities support the providers (public, private and community) develop the skills of individuals with the capacity to work effectively with the full diversity of their service users and encourage their involvement.
  • Private and community organisations work together to increase the capacity of their services to provide sport and recreation activities to a diverse range of local people.
  • Community members including families, carers, clubs and informal recreation groups are supported to develop the expertise to provide sport and recreation activities to a diverse range of local people.


Working in partnership is the third key to achieving the vision. Working together complements and strengthens our efforts in building inclusive and welcoming sport and recreation communities. Building relationships, across and within groups, ventures into collaborations that require discussion, planning and mutual agreement.Working together in a spirit of cooperation, whereby the efforts of government are united with those of our communities, industry and private partners, improves the participation of those groups who have not been able to access sport and recreation opportunities previously. Partnerships are of particular significance for rural and remote communities.


  • Department of Sport and Recreation actively promotes and facilitates partnership development across sport and recreation.
  • State and local government agencies work in partnership to develop and implement inclusive practice models at the local level and in response to local need.
  • Collaboration and partnerships for inclusive sport and recreation are developed between and within community, private and government agencies.
  • Partnerships are supported through the allocation of appropriate and relevant resources, support and information.
  • Partnerships are developed that foster the cross-fertilisation of ideas and expertise across mainstream and specialist groups. Opportunities for informal partnerships are encouraged and supported by all groups.

Advocacy, awareness and promotion

Raising community awareness and promoting the positive outcomes of sport and recreation participation is the fourth key to achieving the vision. This involves access to timely and relevant information and the active promotion of ideas, tools and resources to foster inclusion. All community, private, industry and government organisations have a responsibility to make the broader community aware of their facilities and services.


  • Government, both State and local, actively promotes the benefits of inclusive practices and attitudes across all sectors.
  • Government, both State and local, ensures that the relevant groups are aware of available resources, support and information in a timely manner.
  • Inclusive practices are considered an integral component of all program development, within all sectors — public, private and the community.
  • Processes are developed and effectively targeted to enable informed decisions and choices for all involved.
  • Awareness-raising strategies acknowledge the diversity within the disability population and the unique responses this requires.

Regional Western Australia

The diversity of Western Australia is represented in both its peoples and landscape, and as such, provides a unique challenge to all in the development of sustainable and inclusive sport and recreation. Meeting this challenge is the fifth key to achieving the vision.

An understanding of local sport and recreation needs combined with local involvement in planning is essential for long term capacity building. Program development and the development of appropriate initiatives must be driven by communities and respond to needs directly identified at the local level through public consultation. This is particularly true in regions where the inclusion of people with disabilities in sport and recreation requires an approach that is well informed by local cultural practices.


  • Government, both State and local, supports the sustainable development of rural and remote area partnerships in sport and recreation.
  • Communities are supported in developing inclusive sport and recreation services, and working with local mainstream providers — public, private and community — that address their needs.
  • Specific community needs for sport and recreation are locally identified and are addressed at the local level.

Industry Reference Group Members

  • Carlo Calogero Executive Officer, ACROD
  • Chris Conway Executive Director, WA Swimming Association
  • Neil Guard Executive Director, Healthway
  • Steve Hammond Program Coordinator, Lotterywest
  • Amanda Hunt Executive Officer, Recreation and Sport Network
  • Dereck Mahady Managing Director WA Disabled Sports Association
  • Steve Mason Executive Director, Active Alliance
  • Jennifer Riatti Project Manager, Physical Activity Taskforce
  • Wayne Scheggia Director Policy, Western Australian Local Government Association
  • Bob Welch Executive Director, WA Sports Federation

Departmental Reference Group Members

Department of Sport and Recreation

  • Michael Cutler A/Senior Policy Officer
  • Janette Spencer Joint Project Chair
  • Neil Thompson Manager, Programs

Disability Services Commission:

  • Geoff Holden Manager, Sector Development
  • Helen McMahon Manager, Alternatives to Employment Program
  • Karen Soldatic Joint Project Chair


  1. Australian Sports Commission. (2005). Module 2 Getting Ready for School Unit 5 Inclusion. Disability Education Program Presenter Kit.