Skip to content



Many aspects contribute to sport system sustainability, including governance, workforce, funding and financial management, integrity, infrastructure, participant experiences, environmental impacts, and more.

Global trends 1

Over the last decade, we have seen an increase in the impact of military conflicts, threats and acts of terrorism, pandemics, and climate-change-related weather events. These will continue to cause significant disruption to sports (and lives) across Australia over the coming decades.

Environmental impact 1, 2
  • Climate-change-related weather events – such as, increasing extreme heat days, floods, poor air quality (bushfire smoke, high pollen counts, pollution) – are increasingly interrupting Australian sports participation and athletes’ performance.
  • Sport can help to reduce the impacts of climate change through how we design, build and operate our facilities and competitions.
Workforce 3, 4, 5

The Australian sports industry is estimated to support 128,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

  • Around 3 million Australians also volunteer in sport each year, which is the largest volunteer cohort across all sectors.
Demographics 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20

Demographics in Australia are changing. To be sustainable into the future, sports organisations need to engage and increase participation of diverse social and cultural groups, not just in those playing, but in the paid and volunteer workforce, including in coaching, leadership, management, sports media, and more.

Governance 16

In 2023, 61 National Sporting Organisations completed the annual Australian Sports Commission Sport Governance Standards Benchmarking Report to help assess their governance maturity.

  • 32 sports increased their governance performance.
  • The average score across all sports and principles was 3.09 out of 4.
Integrity 17

At July 2023, 85 National Sporting Organisations have adopted the National Integrity Framework, which helps sports organisations:

  • proactively mitigate integrity threats
  • provide safe, fair, and healthy environments for participants at all levels of sport.
Inclusion 1, 18, 19

Australians can identify a range of ways sport can provide value and benefits to individuals, groups, and communities, but they also feel that the traditional view of ‘organised sport’ must modernise to create new ways for all Australians to have a place in sport.

Infrastructure 15
Spending on community sport infrastructure is estimated to generate an annual value of more than $16.2 billion to Australia.
  • $6.3 billion worth of economic benefit.
  • $4.9 billion worth of health benefit.
  • $5.1 billion worth of social benefit.
  1. The Future of Australian Sport: The second report: Megatrends shaping the sport sector over the coming decades, Australian Sports Commission (ASC), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), (2022).
  2. Future Proofing Community Sport and Recreation Facilities: A roadmap for climate change management for the sport and recreation facilities sector, Sports Environment Alliance/Victorian Government, (2020).
  3. Sports Industry Economic Analysis: Exploring the size and growth of the sport industry in Australia, KPMG for the Office for Sport, Department of Health, (March 2020)
  4. AusPlay report: non-playing roles and volunteering, Australian Sports Commission, (accessed 20 July 2023).
  5. Volunteers, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, (16 September 2021).
  6. AusPlay dataset, Australian Sports Commission, (accessed 20 July 2023).
  7. Cultural diversity of Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics, (20 September 2022).
  8. 2021 Census shows Millennials overtaking Boomers [media release], Australian Bureau of Statistics, (28 June 2022).
  9. Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australian Bureau of Statistics, (September 2022).
  10. Women in Sport, Clearinghouse for Sport, (accessed 28 November 2022).
  11. Sport and Persons with Disability, Clearinghouse for Sport, (accessed 28 November 2022).
  12. Volunteers in Sport, Clearinghouse for Sport, (accessed November 2022).
  13. Australians are more millennial, multilingual and less religious: what the census reveals, Peter Martin, The Conversation, (28 June 2022).
  14. Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, Australian Bureau of Statistics, (October 2019).
  15. The value of community sport infrastructure: Investigating the value of community sport facilities to Australia, KPMG for the Australian Sports Commission, (2018).
  16. Sport Governance Benchmarking Report 2023, Australian Sports Commission, (accessed 1 September 2023).
  17. Sports Signed Up To The National Integrity Framework’, Sport Integrity Australia, (accessed 16 November 2022).
  18. How Australians describe the value and benefits of sport, Australian Sports Commission, (June 2022).
  19. Play Well: Australia's Sport Participation Strategy, (November 2023).
  20. Understanding our diverse communities, Australian Sports Commission, (accessed 19 April 2024)


Discover more about sport system sustainability.


How Australians describe the value and benefits of sport

Australian Sports Commission, (2022)
(restricted access)

Read the report

The Future of Australian Sport

The Second report: Megatrends shaping the sport sector over coming decades

CSIRO and the Australian Sports Commission, (2022)

Read the report


Find information, research, and insights to support decision making in sport.


Identifying priority areas of research for Australian sport.


Explore our extensive range of information resources relating to sport.


Search and access research and data from journals, databases, books, reports, surveys, and more.


View unique sport sector conferences and presentations.


Research data from the Australian Sports Commission's national sport and physical activity survey – AusPlay.


Return to top