David Crawford's Review of Australian Sport: End of Year News

I have written a number of posts about the Independent Panel’s Review of Australian Sport since its publication on 17 November 2009:

In my last post I reported on the release of the Australian Olympic Committee’s eighty-three page response to the Crawford Report and noted that the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) was holding two strategic forums to discuss the Report. The first of these forums was held in Melbourne on 15 December and the second in Canberra on 17 December. There is very little public information about these Forums and there are no links to them on the ASC web site. I understand that the ASC has prepared two summary documents about these meetings as an aide memoir for those who attended.

The Heart Foundation issued a press statement after its attendance at the ASC Canberra Forum. The statement included the observation that “the report provides an important opportunity for both sport and health policies to work together for community good”. CEO, Dr Lyn Roberts called for “a stronger connection between the key recommendations in the report and the Government’s preventive health agenda”. Dr Roberts noted that:

The Preventative Health Taskforce Report contained a range of important recommendations by which to proactively increase physical activity. There is no need to reinvent sound recommendations for health and physical activity; just ensure they are implemented. In order to promote increased participation in sport and other ways to be physically active, children and young people must be a priority.

The Virtual Equestrian had a news item about the Canberra Forum.

I attended a meeting of National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) with the Australian Sports Commission where NSOs voted electronically on each of the 39 recommendations. Most received clear majority support without much change while a small number had substantial implementation concerns registered against them. The meeting felt that some recommendations had not been well thought-through or showed a lack of understanding of sport – the economic impact of sport had simply been ignored – and that there were quite a few areas that had simply been overlooked.  These included coaches, officials, administrators, disabled sport, talent identification, digital media, etc.

Rowing Australia has made public (23 December) its letter to the Minister for Sport, Kate Ellis. The letter notes that while “Rowing Australia believes that there is merit in a number of the Sports Panel’s recommendations it is also our belief that a number of the recommendations are not in the best interests of the Australian sports system. Rowing Australia has concentrated the focus of this response on a number of key issues, both positive and negative, that it considers central to the consideration of the Crawford Report and which should be given extensive contemplation by the Federal Government in preparing its response to the Report”.
Harry Gordon (21 December) discusses the Crawford Report on the AOC web site. In it he explores the intrinsic attractiveness of sport. His post left me wondering about how all the debate about the role of sport in our society might be synthesised into a non zero sum outcome for a healthy and active Australia.
Perhaps in 2010 all those involved in the discussions about activity, health and wellness might work together to have an outcome in which all of us can flourish. What if discussions over the Independent Panel’s Review of Sport deliver a consensus in which all of us have a stake because we defer to the common good?

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