INTRODUCTION. The demise of sporting clubs in NSW will have a significant impact on the health, economy and social fabric of our NSW communities.

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2 INTRODUCTION NSW Sports Federation Inc. operates under the name Sport NSW and is the active voice and peak body for sport in NSW. We operate as an independent not-for-profit organisation with a membership representing over 15,000 community sport clubs and associations and 2.5 million participants, volunteers and workers in NSW. The Policy Agenda of Sport NSW was developed with the assistance of the Sport NSW Advocacy Sub- Committee after extensive consultation with state sporting organisations, regional sports bodies, key sport and recreation personnel and other professionals and volunteers, who share the common understanding of the value of community sport and who also have concerns that there are significant challenges facing community sport in the state that need to be addressed. The NSW Government s 2021 Plan states a goal to increase participation in sport (and the arts). However the reality is that community sport in NSW is under threat due to the long term lack of government investment in building the capability of state and local sporting organisations and the absence of recognition of the value sport for the NSW economy and the health of our state. Sporting clubs are often the backbone of communities and their survival is at risk unless support is provided so sport can further adapt their sporting products to cater for the changing consumer needs and provide broader participation opportunities and equity of opportunity for those socially and economically disadvantaged so they too can reap the benefits of community sport. The demise of sporting clubs in NSW will have a significant impact on the health, economy and social fabric of our NSW communities. Never before has the need to increase social inclusion, to bind communities and to increase participation in sport to improve health and wellbeing been so important - than now! Sport NSW seeks, from all parties contesting the 2015 NSW Parliamentary election, a coordinated, collaborative and strategic response to address the factors that affect participation in community sport in NSW and to be backed up by public investment in the building of capability and capacity of sport organisations to increase participation and ensure there is equity in access. The key priorities of the next State Government in relation to NSW community sport should be: 1. A whole of government approach to encourage participation in community sport 2. Improve equity of opportunity where cost is a barrier through subsidised community sport club membership for children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. 3. Establish community-based not-for-profit regional sports hubs 4. Strengthen the capacity of NSW state and community sporting organisations to increase participation Sport NSW - The Voice of sport 2

3 1. WHOLE OF GOVERNMENT APPROACH TO ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION 1.1 Establish a whole-of-government taskforce to develop a coordinated plan to invest in the health, social and educational outcomes of participation in sport, with defined contributions from the sport and recreation, health, education, connected communities and community services, local government, regional infrastructure and planning portfolio areas. Increase promotion of community sport through the public school system including prioritising the delivery of community sport within school grounds after school finishes in the afternoon. 1.2 Development of uniform guidelines for all sport and active recreation facility planning, management, leasing, fee ranges and events infrastructure including traffic management to ensure that participation in community sport is encouraged, supported, safe and inclusive. 1.3 A state-wide coordinated and strategic approach to facility planning, development and funding for community based sport. When awarding state government funding for new sporting infrastructure or facility upgrades, strengthen criteria related to access for community sport organisations and multi-sport use. Priority to be given in urban development and renewal for inclusion of sufficient green space for community sport fields and for sport facilities. 1.4 Set up a Community Sport Infrastructure Trust with a $1 - $2 levy on each ticket sold in major NSW stadia going to the Trust for expenditure on community sport facilities. 1.5 Extension of facility grants to cover event infrastructure for those sporting organisations that do not utilize sport specific sporting facilities. 1.7 Conduct an economic and psychosocial impact study of sport in NSW and develop a tool to readily estimate the economic and social value of community and elite sporting event and programs. New South Wales is facing increasingly complex health, social and community issues. State Government projections based on current trends for births, deaths and migration show NSW growing by 100,500 people on average each year to The percentage of the population aged 65 is increasing and at the same time the country is facing an obesity and physical inactivity epidemic. Fifty seven percent of the population does not meet the recommended physical activity levels for good health. Participation in organised club sport is declining in NSW and is close to the lowest in the country. Local government and other agencies fees, policies and infrastructure are inconsistent across the state and in some cases cost prohibitive for grass roots sporting clubs and state sporting organisations. This situation discourages sport event tourism, impacts negatively on productivity and creates barriers for growth in community sport participation. Sufficient and safe facilities are a key enabler for sport participation at all levels and across all sport. There is a shortage of adequate public sports facilities and local government authorities are insufficiently resourced to address these needs, whilst existing facilities in schools, defence installations and some universities and are underutilised. An equally important issue is ensuring that community sport organisations are able to get regular and affordable access to existing sporting facilities. Rising access costs for community facilities and limited access to schools-based facilities are making it increasingly difficult for community sport clubs to provide opportunities for more NSW community members to participate in sport and active recreation. Not all sporting organisations require purposed built facilities. They do however require infrastructure to conduct their competition such as equipment to be installed in multipurpose facilities, marquees, barriers, competition technology and unique transport for such equipment. The last NSW Economic Impact study for Sport was conducted in Economic and social impact studies are important in informing the extent and nature of potential government investments as well as ongoing decision making in terms of policy and investment. Assessments of impact of sporting events need to capture total value and not just spectator /organisational spend and visitor nights. Sport NSW - The Voice of sport 3

4 2. IMPROVE EQUITY OF OPPORTUNITY WHERE COST IS A BARRIER 2.1 Establish a scheme to subsidise sport club membership costs for children and young people from 5 to age under 18 years from disadvantaged families. Give Sport a Try scheme providing vouchers up to $150 to join a sporting club. Population surveys conducted in Australia and internationally have shown that people who are socially or economically disadvantaged are less likely to engage in specific sport activities and are more likely to be sedentary in their leisure time. Overweight and obesity is also more prevalent in low socioeconomic and lower population percentages with university education. Voucher type programs across Australia such as Queensland s Get in the Game program and the Western Australian Government s Sports 4 All Program have indicated that directly subsiding club membership for at-need groups has a substantial impact on increasing participation and sport membership 3. ESTABLISH COMMUNITY-BASED REGIONAL SPORTS HUBS 3.1 Establish community-based not-for-profit regional sports hubs providing a collaborative placed-based approach to strengthen the capacity of communities to improve the health and wellbeing of people through participation in sport and recreation activities. 3.2 In 2015/16 conduct a Regional Sport Hub pilot study in 4 regions with evaluation including base line data and annual evaluations. Roll-out of 4 additional regional sports hubs each year over 4 years. Regional sports clubs and associations face exacerbated challenges with fewer resources than their metropolitan counterparts and a skills and funding shortage for the administration and management functions of the organisations. The formation of community-based Regional Sport Hubs will provide an efficient, effective and more collaborative approach to increasing participation in sport and active recreation. Sport Hubs will support collaborative strategic planning and delivery in the region including for; events, sport education & training, sourcing of grants, sport promotional campaigns and facility development. Collaboration also to ensure efficiencies such as; shared services, administrative support for sporting clubs, shared procurement, multisport events, facilities and in fundraising. Sport NSW - The Voice of sport 4

5 4. STRENGTHEN CAPACITY OF NSW SPORT TO INCREASE PARTICIPATION 4.1 Provision of Participation Grants for state sporting organisations to develop and deliver new programs designed around removing the barriers to participation through inclusive practices and improving access to those who are under-represented in organised sport, including those from an Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse background as well women and girls and those with a disability. Priority to be given to those sports that do not already have access to such programs developed at a national level through their national sporting organisation or professional code. NSW state sporting organisations through their well established and developed club networks can cost effectively provide the levels of moderate and vigorous physical activity required to counteract the increasing healthcare costs due to inactivity and at the same time assist in increasing workforce productivity, inclusion and social cohesion. Additional funding should be provided for sport organisations offering flexible participation and membership options and organisations with strategies that respond to changing participation trends, in particular the rise in flexible, social and non-affiliated participation. 4.2 Prioritise increased Sport Development Program (core) funding for all 78 SSOs and 19 state disability sport organisations 4.3 Prioritise increased Strategic Partnership Program (core) funding in line with other major states for sport and recreation industry peak bodies; Sport NSW and the Outdoor Recreation Industry Assoc. 4.4 Investment in increasing volunteer participation in sport and in a state-wide volunteer recognition program and in volunteer management training. State sporting organisations in NSW are significantly underfunded compared to other Australian states and territories and there have been no increases in Sport Development Program base funding since the year This has resulted in increasing participation costs, constrained membership growth and impacted on performance and on the development of talented athletes, coaches, administrators and officials. Core operating funding for Sport NSW, the state s sport peak industry body is significantly below the current level of funding for similar peak sports bodies in other major Australian states. This constrains the capability and capacity of the state s peak sports body to assist the sport sector to grow and contribute towards building connected, healthy and active communities. Increased capacity and financial sustainability of these peak sporting organisations will result in an enhanced ability to develop and to cater for increased participation, diversity and inclusion. A state wide approach is needed to address the decline in sport volunteers and in including a state recognition program, sharing of best practice and resources for volunteer management and funding for delivery of club workshops in volunteer planning management, recruitment, training and recognition. 4.5 Introduce four year funding cycles with annual reporting and review under both the Sport Development Program and Strategic Partnership Programs. Single year funding arrangements hinder productivity, longterm planning and strategic approach to grow participation and to cater for specific segments of the market. Longer-term, consolidated funding would assist state sporting organisations to implement more strategic, sustainable support for local clubs and associations, address retention across the sport workforce and ultimately better meet the changing demands of NSW community members. All references provided in support documentation; Investing in Community Sport Sport NSW Sport NSW - The Voice of sport 5

6 Investing in Community Sport For economic growth and to support healthy, active and connected communities in New South Wales NSW Sports Federation Inc. 6a Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127 PO Box 517, SYDNEY MARKETS NSW 2129 Cheryl Battaerd, Chief Executive Officer TEL: (02) FAX: (02) Ph. (02) or Sport NSW - The Voice of sport 6

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