Youth Sport Trust leads the way ‘Down Under’

Australian sports administrators enlisted the support of the Youth Sport Trust for advice and guidance on building a better sports system in the 21st century.

Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Steve Grainger was invited to speak at Australia's leading sports forum, Our Sporting Future (OSF), at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The conference, jointly hosted by The Australian Sports Commission and the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport (SCORS), provided delegates with an in-depth analysis of the business of sport, with real examples of successful sports business models.

Participants had the opportunity to examine the sustainability of sport and how it can meet any current and future challenges.

Steve said: "In 1995, the Youth Sport Trust was established with a mission to create a world-leading PE and sport system that reached every young person in the country. Through the creation of a school sport network, which now consists of more than 500 sports colleges, 450 school sport partnerships and an incredible army of dedicated people working across the network, the last 15 years have witnessed significant progress - resulting in more opportunities than ever before for young people to participate, perform and lead in sport.

"Many of the issues facing PE and sport in Australia are those that we faced in the UK back in 1995 and it was a pleasure to be able to share our achievements over the last 15 years. Australians are famous for being an incredibly successful sporting nation so for them to come to us for advice and guidance on how we are delivering PE and school sport shows just how far we have come in this country."

Wenda Donaldson, Acting Director, Community Sport, Australian Sports Commission, said: "Listening to Steve's presentation and having the invaluable opportunity to spend time with him afterwards, has led to an invigoration of new ideas and ways in which the Australian sporting system can learn from the UK."

Jeffrey Emmel, National Executive Director, Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation Inc, said: "Australia can learn a great deal from the Youth Sport Trust journey. The multi-levels of engagement and organisation and the use of schools as strategic hubs for action was impressive."

Andy Turnbull, Chief Executive Officer, Sports Hydrant Pty Ltd, said: "I was particularly interested to hear of the desire to create a genuine people legacy. Historically, too much emphasis has been placed on the physical legacy of major events and it was refreshing to hear of the legacy initiatives to deliver more people into sport over the next few years through the education system."

Sparc Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin, said: "The challenge of reaching out, engaging and inspiring the youth of today is a problem facing most countries around the world. The fact that the Youth Sport Trust can now produce evidence showing more young children in the UK are participating in school sport and  performing better academically demonstrates the success of the Youth Sport Trust model. The Youth Sport Trust's ability to create collaborative partnerships with public, commercial and charitable sectors is clearly a critical success factor in creating this world class sport system for youth."

Paul Anderson, Chair, Standing Committee on Sport and Recreation, Australia, said: "Steve's presentation of the Youth Sport Trust and its fantastic results in transforming physical education and school sport in the United Kingdom was both thought provoking and inspiring.  The growth achieved in school participation and the success evidenced in transitioning this to club sport was certainly impressive."