Sport in Rural and Regional Australia

Sport in Rural and Regional Australia   
Prepared by  Prepared by: Greg Blood, AIS Emeritus Researcher
evaluated by  Evaluation by:  Dr Russell Hoye, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Development) & Director La Trobe Sport, La Trobe University (April 2016) 
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: July 2017
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Community Sport Coaching
Alamy, AXEW29


Sport plays an important role in rural, regional and remote Australia. Sport has been found to contribute positively to community identity and sense of place. It promotes social interaction and community inclusion. Sport can bring regional communities together and plays an important role in providing opportunities for physical activity and improved health outcomes.

Rural and regional Australian centres are increasingly hosting sporting events that provide an economic stimulus and instil a sense of community pride. These communities have also developed many of Australia's elite athletes due to their unique cultural characteristics and physical environments among other attributes.

Key Messages 


Sports participation in rural, remote and regional Australian communities has been shown to improve social cohesion and population health outcomes.


Bidding to host significant and major sporting events in regional centres—individually or as part of a consortium of centres—is a strategy increasingly being used by regional councils to gain an economic stimulus and to raise the public profile of their communities.


Some regional centres have produced a disproportionately high number of Australia’s most successful elite athletes.


Many regional centres have access to government and community sponsored programs to support emerging elite athletes and investment in sports infrastructure.

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