The transition from school to university marks a significant shift in the lives of students. As they embark on this new chapter, students leave behind the structured environment of school, including organised sports. However, this departure doesn’t have to be the end of their sporting journey. University sport, with its unique challenges and opportunities, presents a pivotal bridge ensuring students can maintain and even elevate their connection to sports.
Understanding the Challenge
A recent study by AusPlay and the Australian Sports Commission paints a clear picture of the situation, with a decline in sports participation beyond school years. Released in April 2023, the study reveals a drop in organised sports participation from 73% among 15-17 year olds to 51.1% among 18-24-year-olds. The engagement in sport-related activities follows a similar trend, with 71.4% of 15-17 year olds participating at least once a week, compared to only 51.3% of 18-24 year olds.
This decline can be attributed to the numerous changes and transitions that characterise the post-school period. As students transition to higher education, they encounter fresh academic challenges, heightened responsibilities, and shifting career aspirations. These shifts can weaken the focus on organised sports. Additionally, the structured framework of school sports gives way to a decentralised university landscape, demanding an active pursuit of sports opportunities. The interplay of these factors, along with evolving social dynamics and time constraints, unintentionally sideline sports participation, highlighting the importance of deliberate efforts to sustain athletic engagement during the university years.
Navigating the Diversity of University Sports
To assist with the transition, administrators of university sports programs need to identify the sports that will deliver the highest level of student engagement and return on university investment. A result of the need to offer such variety results in a substantial and somewhat unique challenge around the effective management of a diverse array of sports.
Navigating the intricacies of each sport including registrations, logistics, and scheduling, demands a substantial investment of time and effort. The variety of sports, each with its unique dynamics and requirements, can create a complex and intricate web that organisers must skilfully navigate.
The role of technology needs to play a bigger role in enabling both the promotion of sports programs and the administration of them. At Assemble Sports, given our multi-sport approach and offering we have been able to ease the complexities of managing diverse university sports. Our all-inclusive platform eliminates the need for multiple disjointed systems or convoluted processes. With all the tools and functionality integrated seamlessly, administrators can focus on fostering a thriving sports program and ease any friction that might exist for students in identifying and registering and engaging with their chosen sport or sports.
We see our software playing a key role in bridging the gap from school to university sports. Providing students with a modern, intuitive platform is a big part of this. We understand the intricacies of managing a multitude of sports in the university setting.
Our platform is designed to adapt to the unique needs of each sport, streamlining operations and simplifying communication. This adaptability ensures that you can navigate the diversity with ease, tailoring the platform to suit the specific requirements of every sport offered.
Some specific features of note:
- One account for a student for their entire university sport history, allowing them to manage registrations, review performance and results;
- Being able to register to multiple sports in one registration flow;
- Allow administrators to schedule multiple sports in one spot and consider implications across different sports to maximise participation;
- Help administrators track return on investment by ensure high quality reporting and the ability to accurately track attendance using the match day management system
- Flexibility to provide both paid and free of charge events with incentive structures to reward multiple registrations across different sports.
Learn directly from universities themselves that have benefited from working with Assemble Sports, growing their sports programs by up to 40% in one semester…. check out our case study with the University of Tasmania here.