About sport in Australia

Sport is an important part of life in Australia. It improves our physical and mental health, benefits the economy, and helps to strengthen our national pride and international relationships.

Why sport matters

Sport is an important part of life in Australia:

  • Around 90% of adults participate in sport at least once a year.
  • About 13.5 million adults and 3.6 million children take part in sport each year.
  • Over 3 million Australians volunteer in sport and active recreation each year.

These figures come from data collected by Ausplay between July 2022 and June 2023.

Sport has many benefits for participants. It can:

  • motivate kids to be active, which can also improve school results
  • instil habits that will help kids remain healthy and active throughout life
  • improve physical and mental health
  • help people feel included in a social group, and part of a community that sticks together.

Find out more about the lasting health benefits of exercise and physical activity.

Sport also has wider social and economic benefits. It is:

International success by Australian athletes inspires people to take up sport and is a source of national pride.

National Sport Strategy

The Office for Sport is currently developing a new National Sport Strategy. The new strategy, which will replace Sport 2030, will set a shared vision and priorities for sport and will align and leverage key Australian Government sport strategies and plans. It will also align with state, territory and other sector leaders’ plans.

Public consultation on the new strategy (formerly called the National Sport Plan) has now closed. The consultation was open from 10 November to 7 December. 

Further details on the consultation are available on the Department of Health and Aged Care Consultation Hub. Findings from the consultation will inform the development of the strategy ahead of formal government consideration.

Review of the Australian Sports Commission Act 1989

Terms of Reference and consultation

The Australian Government is undertaking a review of the Australian Sports Commission Act 1989 (ASC Act). The review is part of the government’s strategic approach to the ‘Green and Gold Decade’, culminating in the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane.

The aim of the review is to ensure the legislation:

  • is fit for purpose
  • meets contemporary standards
  • positions the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to deliver its objectives
  • enables the ASC to meet current and future needs in the Australian sport system. 

Independent legal expert, Professor John McMillan AO, is leading the review, with support from law firm, Clayton Utz. 

Professor McMillan will provide a report to government in late 2024 with recommendations on potential amendments to the ASC Act. 

See the Terms of Reference – Review of the Australian Sports Commission Act 1989.

Have your say

Consultation is open between 17 May and 28 June 2024. We invite interested stakeholders to provide feedback on the ASC Act. Read the Issues paper on our Consultation Hub and complete the survey.

If you have queries about the review, please email ascactreview@health.gov.au.

Organisation of sport in Australia

Sport is organised at national, state and local levels in Australia.

National sports bodies

There are several key national bodies related to sport.

  • The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is the Australian Government Agency responsible for supporting and investing in sport at all levels.
  • Australian Sports Foundation – Australia's leading non-profit sports fundraising and charity body. Funds several grant programs to help overcome barriers to participation.
  • National Sports Tribunal – provides independent, cost-effective dispute resolution services to sporting bodies, athletes and support personnel.
  • Sport Integrity Australia – protects the integrity of Australian sport.

State and territory government sports agencies

The state and territory governments also give considerable support to sport and recreation. Learn about what’s happening in your local community:

State peak sports bodies

These member-based organisations represent the sporting and recreation industries in their state:

Sports research and data

The Clearinghouse for Sport is the information and knowledge sharing platform for Australian sport. The Clearinghouse shares news, evidence and insights about a range of topics across sport and human performance.

The Australian Sports Commission delivers the AusPlay survey, a large scale national survey to track Australians’ sporting behaviours. The AusPlay survey is updated every 6 months.

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