The Future of Australian Sport

The Future of Australian Sport


I’m Stefan Hajkowicz, I’m a scientist
at CSIRO, and I lead CSIRO Futures that does long range strategic foresight and strategy
projects for industry and government clients. I’ve got a background in geography, economics
and decision theory. This particular project looks at the future of Australian sport over
the next 30 years. We identify six megatrends which will reshape
the Australian sporting sector. The first of those megatrends we call a perfect
fit, and this captures the rise of the fitness industry in Australia. Gym membership is increasing, gym revenue
is increasing, the number of personal trainers is increasing, and Lycra sales are off the
chart. The fitness and health and well being objectives
are key drivers for Australians in participating in sport in the future, and likely to move
more so in that direction. The second megatrend we call from extreme
to mainstream and this looks at the rise of lifestyle and adventure sports which are particularly
popular with the younger generations, which is Gen Y and Gen Z. And this captures the rise of sports like
kite boarding, surfing, skateboarding, mountain climbing, that are growing in popularity especially
with younger generations who have a lot of discretionary expenditure. The next megatrend we call everybody’s game,
and this captures Australia’s ageing population, we’re currently 13% over the age of 65.
By the year 2030 this will be closer to 25%, older people are wanting to stay connected
to sport and keep playing. Also as Australia culturally diversifies we’re
likely to see different types of sports played and people from different cultures have different
sporting preferences. The next megatrend we call more than sport,
and this is an important one because this captures the importance of social and economic
benefits surrounding sport such as physical and mental health. Sport, especially for children
has been associated with better outcomes later in life, but sport has also been associated
with decreased crime rates in remote Australia, and it’s also associated with the building
of international relations between countries and helping countries put themselves on a
path of sustainable development. So sport has a lot of roles to play which are off the
sports field and I think we see an increase focus on these benefits into the future. The next megatrend we call new wealth and
new talent, and this captures the rising income in Asia, Asia is rapidly growing it’s economy
and as it does so it’s investing in sports along with a lot of other activities, but
their sporting capabilities are growing, they’re getting much tougher competitors on the international
field, and they’re increasing opportunities for Australian businesses to play into the
Asian sports sector. The last megatrend is called from tracksuits
to business suits, and this looks at the rise of corporatisation of sport which has been
happening for some time and will continue for some time yet to come, and also the increased
cost of sports, cost is becoming a key factor that is a barrier for Australians to participate
in some sports. We saw fantastic rates of volunteerism amongst
the baby boomers, but whether Gen Y, Gen Z volunteer to the same extent is yet to be
found out. Sport is a central part to who Australians are and its part of our culture,
it’s really crucial that we make the right decisions to get the most out of it in the
future, that’s what this study aims to do, this study is a thought starter that hopes
to inform a lot of decision making by others.

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