The recent release of the 'Australia's Sports Participation Strategy' document [Play Well] by the Australian Sports Commission will likely stir up some change in the nation’s approach to engaging participants in sports. The strategy covers six separate categories and addresses many of the common challenges currently facing the sports ecosystem in the country. What particularly stands out is the strategy's embrace of a modern approach, incorporating technology as a crucial component in the quest for solutions.

Most shockingly, however, was the statistic that Australia was ranked 140th of 146 countries with some of the least active teenagers in the world (per a WHO study).  Based on the inherent characteristics of Australia and its connection with sport this statistic indicates transformational strategies are required - not merely incremental change.

Breaking away from conventional methods, it is clear to see that the primary objective of the strategy is to forge a detailed framework promoting inclusivity, diversity, and operational efficiency in sports. As a keen advocate for progress in sports engagement and seeing all sports thrive across the country, this forward-thinking vision is a shared commitment we have to provide every individual with rightful access and a deserved place in the realm of sports.

The strategy document rightly identifies coordination challenges within the current sports ecosystem, emphasising the need for consistency, transparency, and evidence-based decision-making to enhance efficiency and accountability. Here, technology and digital solutions become paramount, a critical move to eliminate duplicated efforts and confusion regarding roles and responsibilities within the sports community. We at Assemble play a pivotal role in overcoming coordination hurdles, eliminating inefficiencies, and fostering a more organised approach to sports competitions by leveraging technology to streamline and unify sports management.

The enablers outlined in the strategy, particularly in Technology and Digital, and Data and Measurement, highlight a forward-thinking approach to modernise sports participation. The emphasis on accessibility, convenience, efficiency, and data collection is a nod to the role that technology can play in transforming the sports landscape.

The Technology and Digital enablers outlined align with the broader shift towards leveraging digital platforms and tools to make sports accessible to everyone. The strategy recognises the role of technology in making participation more convenient and efficient, acknowledging the potential for technology to be a driving force in the future of sports. This strategic foresight aligns seamlessly with the core values of Assemble Sports. We believe in using digital tools to make sports accessible to everyone, ensuring that participants can engage in sports at times that suit them, and adopting technology to enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Arguably, technology should play a key role in targeting the engagement of the teenager cohort (and the worrying WHO statistic reference earlier) and recognising that for this segment technology needs to be even more prevalent a focus area rather than simply an enabler.

Assemble Sports is committed to providing flexible technology solutions that make the game more accessible for both administrators and participants. Our platform evolves to meet the unique needs of sports organisations, reducing duplication and inefficiencies that can plague traditional systems.

Equally important is the emphasis on Data and Measurement, acknowledging the significance of regular data collection for assessing the effectiveness of participation efforts. This commitment to uniform data capture, feedback, and accountability through public data sharing is an important step towards transparency and continuous improvement. Assemble's platform plays a key role in this commitment, capturing uniform participant data and providing valuable insights for administrators. This dedication to data quality and transparency significantly enhances the overall effectiveness of sports participation efforts.

For a detailed overview of the strategy, you can access the full document here.