Trends and innovation

The Department prides itself on supporting the sport and recreation industry of Western Australia through the facilitation and implementation of innovative programs and initiatives.

We constantly monitor evolving trends that affect not just sport and recreation—but also the broader community—and look at how we can use this information to support the industry to build stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities.

Current trends

There are a number of challenges facing Western Australia, now and into the future, that are being investigated by the Department as to how we can play a role in supporting communities to address these in an innovative way. Some of the current trends we are focusing on include:

Technology

Fast-paced technology changes continue to alter the way people participate in, play and see sport and recreation activities. This creates a challenge for the Department and industry to identify how technological innovations can support all of the areas that we work in across the community:

Opportunities in technology

There are hundreds of innovative inventions released around the world everyday. They may not immediately appear to benefit to sport and recreation, but by looking outside the square, we are able to see ways to use these ideas to address our challenges. Current opportunities in the technology space include:

Climate change

Western Australia experiences a variety of different extreme weather patterns every year, but these are slowly changing. Through partnerships with other Government and corporate agencies, we can ensure consideration is given to how sport and recreation environments may need to change, and continue to meet the needs of each community. Our areas of focus are:

  • Effective water and energy management
  • Public open space
  • Environmentally sustainable clubs
  • Recreational access to public catchments and dams
  • Protecting sensitive environments and drinking water catchments

Opportunities in climate change

Current opportunities in the environment and climate change area include:

Participation and physical inactivity

Physical activity participation rates remain unacceptably low for a large proportion of the community and the current generation of children spends more time indoors than any other generation in history. The challenge is to continue to develop bold initiatives to motivate the community to live active lifestyles. This includes investigating:

Opportunities in participation and physical activity

Current opportunities in the participation and physical inactivity area include:

Lack of volunteers

Community volunteers in the sport and recreation sector underpin the delivery, sustainability and culture of our clubs and associations. As volunteers require significant ongoing training, support and development, the Department continues to identify ways to support the industry to attract new volunteers and retain these crucial participants. Current programs include:

Opportunities in volunteering

Society is changing and so we need to consider new ways of encouraging people to volunteer. Some of these opportunities include:

Rising cost of participation

Financial struggles can provide significant barriers to young people and families wanting to be involved in sport and recreation activities, while clubs and associations are under increasing pressure to provide accessible and affordable activities, manage a declining volunteer workforce and rising operational costs.

To address this, there are programs such as:

Places, spaces and population increase

As our population increases and new communities emerge, there is rising pressure on existing systems, sport and recreation facilities to accommodate more people. While housing provision remains a government focus, our challenge is to ensure that new communities are created with built and natural environments that encourage active and healthy lifestyles.