BPS20011: Week 3

In week 3 of the Business, Politics and Sport unit at the University of Canberra I looked at the articulation of sport, politics and business in the context of the Crawford Report and the Government’s response (2010).

The Slidecast is 9 minutes long and summarises a 40 minute presentation.

I mention the Green and Gold program in Australia here is a link to some information about it.


IASI in Leipzig 2011: Consensus Discussion 1

One of the aims of the IASI workshop in Leipzig (28-30 June) is to develop a consensus paper on information and communication services for coaches and researchers in elite sport.

Participants in the workshop have been asked to consider three questions as a starting point for discussion.

  1. Do you see (or have experienced) particular needs and/or conditions in the field of information and communication for elite sport coaches and researchers in your country? What kind of media, information and/or communication are these clients mainly interested in, in what format would they like to get access to them, what are the basic procedures to disseminate information resp. knowledge to these clients etc. What do these clients expect from information, communication and library services? How would you describe the situation in your country?
  2. What are the lessons to learn from your particular project resp. situation that could be taken home from Leipzig when participants would consider to “copy” your project – what content and procedures should they focus on, what are the weaknesses and errors which should and could be avoided, what partners in sports, science, media, business could you rely on, how complex should a service offer in information and knowledge management be (better to focus on less items or to try to design a complex structure?) etc.?
  3. What would you expect from international collaboration in the field of knowledge management in elite sport (research)? Where are the chances and opportunities, where do you see obstacles and limits (as we are all working for competing national sport organizations)?

I think I will frame my responses to the three questions in the context of Question 3. I think this question gives us an opportunity to explore some important second order issues.

I presented a paper about the Fourth Age of Sport Institutes at the last IASI Congress (Canberra, 2009) and feel even more strongly now than I did then about Open Access. Whilst I was revisiting the Fourth Age Paper on SlideShare I noticed that Richard Wallis’s presentation was suggested as a related presentation. Richard’s presentation is titled Linking the Library’s Data to the Rest of the World. Of the many ideas Richard presented I noted two that I thought were pertinent to our discussions in Leipzig:

and …

I think the arrival of more and more semantic interoperability will drive the provision of information services into exciting spaces.  I think we can go beyond contemporary perceptions of competition between countries to establish a global, sustainable information system that celebrates and develops produsage.

I am naive enough to hope that the next great age of information services will be founded upon reciprocal altruism. Without a profound shift in approach I do think international sport is doomed if it insists on a zero-sum model of information services. I do think the non-zero sum game will be the only game in town for a satiable world system of sport.

We will need global collaboration if we are to go beyond ethnocentrism in our use of information services. I see Richard Young’s initiative in New Zealand and Gavin Reynold’s plans for Australia as examples of what we can achieve in an International Content Partnership.

My answer to Question 1 is very brief. I think we are witnessing a remarkable transformation of opportunities to access information and media. Many of the opportunities that are arising are coming from imaginative use of Cloud resources. These resources offer agnostic opportunities for curation and sharing. I appreciate that in Australia the National Sport Information Centre (NSIC) is working hard to produce an agnostic service through its Clearinghouse platform. I am immensely impressed by the service the NSIC provides and in awe of its attempts to be an agile and dynamic service responsive to the needs of coaches and researchers in elite sport.

Question 2 is difficult for me to answer. I am a user of services rather than a provider. I am hopeful that IASI can foster a community of practice that shares openly cultural forms of information service. One of my outcomes from the workshop and the consensus statement is to have a grounded appreciation of some of the cultural universals we face in a world of diminishing resources for information services.

We can develop a connected information service through IASI that affirms …

Photo Credits

Baumwollspinnerei Leipzig

Leipzig Plakate

Marks and Coe: Meeting in the Commons

There was an opportunity this week to meet in the University of Canberra’s Teaching Commons. The occasion was Bruce Coe‘s upgrade seminar. Bruce has been researching the life and times of Ernest Samuel Marks and with encouragement from his supervisors (Robin McConnell and me) he is seeking to register for a PhD from his Masters by Research. To make this transition the University requires that a candidate present an upgrade seminar that is open to peer review and is assessed by two assessors.

At present the Commons works on a ‘first in, best dressed‘ system where users of the space access available space. We found a great room with a presentation screen.

Bruce’s working title for the thesis is The Indefatigable E.S. Marks and His Contribution to Australian Sport. In his introduction to the seminar, Bruce noted that:

On 2 December 1947, E.S. (Ernest Samuel) Marks died in Sydney, in his seventy-seventh year. Two days, later a 500-word obituary appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald stating that Marks was ‘a notable figure in Australian sport’. Later in the obituary, it was opined that Marks ‘probably did more for amateur sport in Australia than any other man’. Despite this acknowledgement, there is virtually no detailed account about Marks in the sport history literature.

Bruce’s submission for a Master of Sports Studies by Research degree sought to address this inexplicable gap in the literature and aimed to make a distinctive contribution to knowledge about Marks’s role in the origins of organised sport in Australia. In his proposal, Bruce noted Richard Cashman’s observation in Paradise of Sport (1995:62):

There has been too little consideration of the role of officials in shaping sporting institutions. The influence of some administrators has in some instances been immense. Whereas the playing careers of élite performers often do not extend much beyond a decade or two, some officials have dominated, and virtually run a sport for three to five decades, acquiring a substantial power base in the process. During an extended period of office an administrator can become a powerful figure in a sport, a position enhanced by political, social and media connections.

Richard Cashman identified Marks as one of a dozen influential administrators of amateur sport in Australia and documented their service to the shaping of various sporting institutions. Marks’s sixty years of giving to sport resulted in a ten-line summary. Bruce’s work seeks to extend this evidence through a painstaking study.

This is a copy of his slide presentation in his upgrade seminar ES Marks.