Structure of Australian Sport

Structure of Australian Sport

Prepared by : Christine May, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia
Reviewed by network : Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN), May 2019
Last updated : 23 August 2019
Content disclaimer : See Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer
Structure of Australian Sport


The Australian sport and active recreation sector has many players and moving parts. It is strongly influenced by other leading service sectors including government, community, education, health, retail, media and broadcast, and tourism and entertainment. 

It can be difficult to see where the sport sector begins and ends—particularly when you consider intersecting themes such as active and outdoor recreation, fitness, physical activity and preventative health. However, the structure of sport in Australia can provide some insight into how the sector connects and operates from a peak national to local grassroots level.

Key messages

    Federated structure

    The system of federalism (that is, Australia's Commonwealth constitutional system governing its federated states and territories), strongly influences how the Australian sport and active recreation sector is structured.

    Public investment

    Australian governments (Federal, State/Territory, and Local) invest over AU$1.3b annually in sport at all levels—investing in community participation, infrastructure, major events, and building a robust sports industry.

    Community driven

    Community sport and active recreation clubs play a pivotal role in making physical activity opportunities accessible to all Australians. More than 5.4m Australian adults (15+) and 2.4m children participate in organised sport and recreation activities annually.

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