Australia is recognised internationally as a nation that is very much involved in sport. Sport and recreation form an integral part of Australian culture and there are believed to be many benefits associated with participating in sport and physical activity, including enjoyment, social interaction, health, personal achievement, national pride and community involvement. In many ways sport unites and personifies the nation. Interestingly, before Australia was federated as a nation, Australians were competing internationally as 'Australia'.
Sport and recreation administration
Governments invest in sport and recreation because it returns both tangible and intangible benefits to the nation. Governments of all levels play an important role in the development of Australian sport and recreation. The provision of quality facilities, whether they be state of the art stadiums or community cycling paths, encourages physical activity and, importantly, good health.
Sport and Recreation Ministers' Council (SRMC)
The SRMC provides the major mechanism for liaison between the Australian Government and state and territory governments on matters concerned with sport and recreation in Australia and, more recently, in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The SRMC is a forum for consultation and cooperation between the respective governments, with its membership comprising ministers with prime responsibility for sport and recreation.
The Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport (SCORS) - comprising representatives of the relevant ministers' departments and the Australian Sports Commission - provides advice and administrative support to the SRMC.
The Recreation and Sport Industry Statistics Group is a sub-committee of SCORS. Its role is to improve the range and quality of information on sport and recreation, including data and research on participation, economics, consumption and social impacts. It comprises representatives from Australian Government, state and territory departments responsible for sport and recreation, the ABS, the Australian Sports Commission and Sport Industry Australia.
National Sporting Organisations (NSOs)
Sports in Australia are managed and coordinated by National Sporting Organisations (NSOs). Each organisation manages the participation and development of a specific sport in Australia. They are able to offer guidance and further contacts for those seeking information on their sport. There are 129 such organisations in Australia. More information about most of these organisations can be obtained from the web site, Australian Sports Commission web site at <http://www.ausport.gov.au/about/australian_sport_directory>.
Australian Sports Commission (ASC)
The ASC is the Australian Government agency responsible for the funding and development of sport at the national level. The ASC supports a wide range of programs designed to develop sporting excellence and increase participation in sports by all Australians. The ASC works with a range of stakeholders, including national sporting organisations, to achieve the Government's sport policy objectives.
The ASC's national leadership role is achieved through three operational areas: the Australian Institute of Sport, the Sport Performance and Development Group and the Business Operations Group.
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is responsible for developing elite sport on a national basis with a particular focus on success at the international level. For the purposes of elite sports development, it integrates sport science and medical services, sports management activities, funding, athlete welfare and implementation of the technical requirements for sporting success. The AIS conducts a national scholarship program that includes 35 programs in 26 sports, involving approximately 700 athletes.
The ASC's Sport Performance and Development Group provides funding and services to NSOs to support their operations, which include high performance activities and sport development programs. In particular, the Group assists NSOs to develop community grass-roots participation and sports programs for special interest groups (e.g. women, Indigenous Australians and people with disabilities). The Group also provides funding, products and services to assist NSOs to become more self-sufficient, and to adopt improved business and management practices.
The ASC's Business Operations Group, in addition to providing corporate and support services to the ASC, manages the AIS facilities and operates the National Sport Information Centre. The Group also manages and delivers the ASC's international program, aimed at providing sport development services to international sporting organisations and agencies.
More information about the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Institute of Sport can be obtained from the web sites, <http://www.ausport.gov.au> and <http://www.ais.org.au>.
Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA)
The ASDA is the custodian of Australia's athlete anti-doping program and it plays a leading role, within Australian and international sports communities, in delivering drug testing and education services. ASDA also provides policy advice to sporting organisations and the Australian Government regarding 'drugs in sport' issues. ASDA is an independent statutory authority and was established in 1990. The Australian Sports Drug Agency web site is <http://www.asada.gov.au>.
Australia Sport International (ASI)
ASI was established in 1997 with the support of the Australian Government to connect international businesses to Australian suppliers of sport- and recreation-related goods and services. ASI helps organisations in the Australian sports and recreation industry to enhance their export performance by providing access to a range of services designed to support their international marketing efforts. Further information on ASI can be obtained from the web site, <http://www.australiasportinternational.com>.
Sport Industry Australia (SIA)
SIA is the industry association and national peak body for sport in Australia. Previously known as the Confederation of Australian Sport, it was established in 1976 to advance the interests of the Australian sports community and to give the industry an united voice in discussions and negotiations with governments and key stakeholders.
Sport Industry Australia's core membership base comprises Australia's NSOs. SIA members also include a number of sport businesses and state and national organisations associated with the sport industry Australia wide.
Further information about SIA and its activities can be obtained from the web site, <http://www.sportforall.com.au>.
Sport and Recreation Training Australia (SRTA)
SRTA is a national Industry Training Advisory Board for sport and recreation industries.
The primary roles of SRTA are to advise government on, and assist industry with, vocational education and training matters for the sport and recreation industries.
SRTA has developed training packages for various sectors of the sport and recreation industry, including outdoor recreation, sport, fitness and community recreation. The former two packages were re-released in 2002 and are available from the web site, <http://www.insportandrecreation.net>. The latter two packages are currently under review and are due for re-release in 2004. Further information on Sport and Recreation Training Australia can be obtained from the web site, <http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/wsd/2040.htm>.
Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER)
ACHPER is a national professional association representing people who work in the areas of health education, physical education, recreation, sport, dance, community fitness or movement sciences.
ACHPER is a membership-based non-profit organisation, governed by a volunteer board comprising professionals from educational and community sectors. ACHPER advocates and lobbies for the promotion and provision of health and physical education, sport, recreation and dance; undertakes research; conducts teacher professional development programs; and conducts leadership training programs for community fitness instructors. The ACHPER web site is <http://www.achper.org.au>.