Bid to boost regional sport in SA as volunteer and participation numbers drop read full article at

Tony Elletson believes South Australia’s Limestone Coast could be the very best regional space in Australia for producing elite athletes. 

Via the Limestone Coast Sporting Academy, he trains younger individuals within the area to compete of their sports activities alongside the very best within the state and nation. 

However he is aware of native grassroots sport is the beginning floor for everybody, from AFL stars to Olympic opponents.

“We have a look at areas like Ballarat and Wagga Wagga, they’ve got a huge history of producing Australian competitors, whether it be cricket, footy or whatever,” he mentioned. 

“The key to having any higher level success is making sure you’ve got a strong base.”

Like many regional areas in Australia, native sport has taken successful as individuals stay busier lives and participant and volunteer numbers drop, with a examine final 12 months discovering volunteering hours had dropped 19 per cent nationwide.

The sporting academy within the state’s south-east is about to launch a $300,000 investigation into native sport to search out the very best methods to advertise high athletes. 

A group of people wearing black shirts standing in a gym.
The Limestone Coast Sport Academy trains potential athletes from a variety of sports activities.(Equipped: Limestone Coast Sporting Academy)

Mr Elletson mentioned discovering methods to strengthen sport on the grassroots degree was important to the way forward for native athletes.

“I think even before COVID we were probably struggling with young people between 14 and 20 where they drop out, start looking for jobs and travel to Adelaide for university,” he mentioned.

“There’s a lot of other things nowadays that can take up people’s time so we need to make sure we’re supporting the local clubs and associations to be their best. 

“All of them do a incredible job, it’s simply manpower [they need], you’ll be able to solely achieve this a lot.”

Diversifying the native sporting membership  

Sport SA CEO Leah Cassidy said engaging more diverse communities, such as migrants, women and LGBTQI+ people who often did not feel welcome at sporting clubs, was key. 

“While you’re occupied with how we run our sport, we all know we have got closely weighted male illustration on sporting committees,” she mentioned. 

A woman with grey hair and glasses
Leah Cassidy says sports clubs need to look towards diverse communities for greater participation.(ABC News)

“While you begin to diversify your board and your committees … this adjustments what a membership appears to be like like. 

“That’s the point where clubs are at, they need to decide whether they’re going to stay the same or whether they will diversify.”

Ms Cassidy added regional sporting golf equipment had a possibility to create stronger communities by embracing range.

“Sport is often the heart of what happens in communities and attracting those diverse groups is really important,” she mentioned.

Inclusive sports activities rising 

Whereas historically extra in style sports activities equivalent to Australian Guidelines, netball, soccer and cricket have worn the brunt of a drop in participant numbers, extra niche sports have thrived.

With the proliferation of sports activities from all over the world in a position to be streamed straight into residing rooms, there at the moment are extra choices for individuals to take a position their time in. 

Disc golf, which was first conceived within the Sixties, has taken off in recognition because the web made it accessible to extra individuals. 

A man throwing a frisbee disk towards a disc golf target.
A disc golf programs winds via the pine forests round Mount Gambier.(Equipped: Mount Gambier Disc Golf Membership)

Ryan Nicholson began the primary disc golf membership in Mount Gambier, which has led to nationwide championships being performed within the city. 

He mentioned the game’s inclusivity made it enticing. 

“We’re so passionate about our sport and sharing our sport with everyone, so we’re not looking to turn anyone away,” Mr Nicholson mentioned. 

“It’s one of those sports anyone can play, if you can throw a disc and walk in a park, you’re away.”

Marist Park cricket
Cricket is likely one of the sports activities struggling to fill volunteer roles.(ABC South East SA: Kate Hill )

The newfound recognition of the game was proven in a single native disc golf participant becoming a member of the Limestone Coast Sporting Academy in a bid to achieve its highest degree. 

Mr Elletson mentioned whereas larger sports activities could also be experiencing a downturn, seeing new sports activities making their mark domestically was thrilling. 

“Not everyone is good at footy, cricket or netball, so for a long time there were people walking away from sport and choosing different lifestyles,” he mentioned. 

#australiannews #australian_news

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