How might we positively influence people’s lives through physical activity?
t’s a question we should all be asking ourselves more often.
The upcoming Forward Thinking Series ‘Sport Jam’ workshop will throw this up for discussion and examination.
It’s encouraging that 3.9 million Victorians participate in sport or recreation once per week, however, the downside is that many people are not exercising regularly enough to meet physical activity guidelines. In fact, a staggering 60 percent of us fall short.
While this is a confronting statistic, it presents a significant opportunity for sport organisations to find avenues to positively influence people’s behaviour. We can start by trying to understand motivations and goals.
In 2013, Sport Australia released research identifying 10 consumer segments for adults, outlining how participation is affected by traditional, competitive sporting environments.
We know that very few people maintain regular participation in sport across their lifetime - there are a range of life pressures which influence this statistic. Looking at data from the AusPlay survey from 2016 it is notable that most people aren’t motivated to simply play sport, and the top five motivators for sport don’t include competition. They are:
- Physical health / fitness
- Fun / enjoyment
- Social reasons
- Mental health
- To lose weight
Naturally, our goals change as our lives progress - the same is true of physical activity goals. Sport needs to be innovative, adopt a customer-centric approach, and initiate activities targeted towards specific age groups and their various requirements. This enhances the value proposition of sport.
Here are some examples:
- Saints Play is an inclusive version of AFL Auskick for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It helps children develop social skills and physical mobility – both key goals for children with developmental challenges.
- Bowling with Babies is a social bowling program for new mothers. It uses lawn bowls as the vehicle for key goals at this life stage – getting out of the house for coffee, socialising and staying active.
- Walking Basketball provides opportunities for older adults to stay active, maintain strength and have fun while reducing the risks of isolation and loneliness, which are key concerns for our ageing population.
Finding out someone’s goals can be as easy as asking!
Come to the Sport Jam on March 20-21 where we will unpack a range of new and exciting ideas and investigate innovative processes to ensure sport meets the motivations and goals of our diverse communities.
Thanks to VicHealth for supporting Vicsport’s Forward Thinking Series.
Participation Strategy Manager
Sport Australia, AusPlay: Summary of Key National Findings, 2016
Victorian State Government, Active Victoria: A Strategic Framework for Sport and Recreation in Victoria, 2017-2021, Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.
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