On 27 June 2011, SWB and Our Community staged the inaugural National Community Sports Conference at Moonee Valley Function Centre. The event attracted 380 delegates from around Australia who work in, play or administer sport and/or are involved in the community, as well participants from local and state and federal government agencies. The conference focused on different target communities in Australia, including people from CALD and Indigenous backgrounds, All Abilities and women.
The conference’s main aim was to bring together key grassroots sports decision-makers and facilitate discussion around social inclusion in sport for Australia’s disadvantaged groups. A number of high-calibre speakers (see below) spoke on this theme, while the audience also engaged with the process through Q & A sessions.
The conference was a huge success, with 97% of attendees saying that they would return to a similar event. This overwhelmingly positive response has encouraged SWB and Our Community to stage the second National Community Sports Conference, which will be held on 15 June 2012, again at the Moonee Valley Function Centre.
The theme of 2012 Conference will be taking the idea of social inclusion in sports from feel good theory to real world practice. The conference will explore “how alliances, partnerships, linkages and community practices can lead to active participation in sports and clubs by disadvantaged communities”.
A range of speakers will expand on, review, consider and debate the conference themes, with the aim of turning talk into action. The 2012 conference will be workshop-based, designed to root out the best practices that work to increase participation through linkages and partnerships of community organizations and local sporting groups.
The 2012 conference will once again invite attendance by all Australian sports bodies and community groups, as well as local, state and federal government representatives and expert speakers such as Phil Ruthven from IBIS. Minister for Sport Senator Kate Lundy has confirmed her attendance.
This year’s conference will:
- Bring together sports inclusion experts with grassroots and bureaucratic sports administrators, giving those on the ground the opportunity to have a voice and influence government and societal policy on assisting disadvantaged people to feel socially included, and to learn from experts in the field, as well as their peers.
- Help build partnership linkages, which in turn will enhance participation of disadvantaged groups in Australian sport.
- Build and share best practice.
- Develop and build greater learning and participation between communities and local and state sporting organizations.
- See the launch of a new and exciting national campaign, by the Minister for Sports, Senator Kate Lundy.
- Take a lead on this major policy narrative – taking the social inclusion agenda to sport.
- Deliver significant media coverage across community media.
Further information here