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               The Matt Caroll interview                                                                                           THE JOURNAL OF SPORT,  LEISURE & RISK  WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE         November 2021

              We are guests in another country and             supported so we can drive participation                             happen, the Review and National Sports            many of our athletes
              our Olympic Team always respects that            at the same time as driving high                                    Plan will simply be documents gathering           who are likely to
              hospitality. We understand the facilities        performance. It is a virtuous circle –                              dust on a shelf.
              across the three competition zones are           participation, pathways, performance.                                                                                 represent us at the
              outstanding, so our athletes are looking         Each drives the other. The ten year                                 We now have a golden opportunity with             Brisbane Games in
              forward to competing in that environment.  runway to 2032 is a once in a generation                                  the ten year runway into the Brisbane 2032        11 short years are in
                                                               opportunity for Olympic sports.                                     Olympic Games to address this. There’s
              Q. Given its comparatively                                                                                           a further opportunity to supercharge              secondary school
              small population Australia                       Q. What are the big issues                                          Australian sport for that ten years and the       right now, this must
                                                                                                                                   decade beyond 2032.
              has achieved a high level                        facing the Australian sports                                                                                          be a concern. What
              of success in sport on the                       industry now and in the                                             We have called our submission Sport:              do you feel needs to
              World stage. What are the                        immediate future?                                                   Powering Australia’s Future (10+10) for           be done?
              main factors fuelling this                                                                                           that reason.                                      A. There’s no question that

              success and can this level of                    A. Investment. Sport has such an                                    Sport portfolios within government should         the issues we have been
                                                               enormous role to play in Australia’s future
              achievement be sustained                         and addressing Australia’s challenges.                              not be isolated. For sport to fulfil its role,    speaking about such as obesity
              until 2032 and beyond?                           For all our sporting success, Australia                             sport portfolios need to be talking more          are connected with the decline
                                                               has an obesity crisis. There are a range of                         broadly to health, education, environment,        in physical activity with young
                                                               wellbeing and mental health challenges.                             foreign affairs and trade. We need to             people. The impact of other
              A. While we are a sports loving nation                                                                               unleash the power of sport, but it needs,
              and we have a climate that fuels that            We need to address a range of issues in                             like any industry, appropriate investment.        forms of entertainment with young people
              great passion of ours, success doesn’t just      our Indigenous communities.                                                                                           on screens are issues that all parents and
              happen. The success has been achieved                                                                                Talk to our member sports and beyond              educators are well aware of. Schools once
              through the hard work of the sports, their       Sport contributes to social cohesion.                               the need for their own funding certainty,         played a significant role in keeping children
              athletes and investment by governments           We are a migrant nation and we need to                              they’ve identified a range of barriers to         active.
              through institutes. But other nations            move forward together. The AOC and                                  success including access to quality human
              are also investing and those with larger         Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA)                                  resources, access to quality competitions,        Ad campaigns can be hit and miss. They
              populations have a deeper talent pool.           have made a joint submission to the                                 infrastructure, athlete support and talent        come and go and frankly nothing has made
              Australia is one of the most competitive         Federal Government Intergenerational                                identification. Particularly for second and       much of a difference at all in recent years.
              sports markets in the world so the               Review which outlines the role sport can                            third tier sports, the problem becomes
              competition for athletes is immense, so          play in addressing these issues. Between                            more pronounced.                                  The AOC has been running a program in
              we need to ensure we have the quality of         our two organisations we have 13 million                                                                              schools called Olympic Unleashed that
              coaching, sports science and create the          participants in our member sports.                                  Q. There appears to be a                          impresses on those young people the
              right pathways.                                                                                                                                                        benefits of goal setting, staying active
                                                               But government investment in sport in                               shift in the relationship                         and resilience. I mention this because
                                                               real terms has been declining for years                                                                               educators really value this and for them it
              Our job at the AOC is to ensure our                                                                                  between physical activity
              Olympic sports are properly funded and           and it needs to be restored. If that doesn’t                        and competitive sport. For                        is hard to teach.

                                                                                                                                   instance, we have seen                            Olympians going into schools as living
                                                                                                                                   in recent years physical                          examples has been powerful. We have

                   While we are a sports loving nation and we have a                                                               education removed from                            reached more than 250,000 young people
                                                                                                                                                                                     already and that will continue to grow.
                   climate that fuels that great passion of ours, success                                                          school curriculums and                            That’s our contribution but there’s no
                   doesn’t just happen. The success has been achieved                                                              trained PE teachers no                            question the reintroduction of organised
                   through the hard work of the sports, their athletes and                                                         longer required as members                        sport into school curricula would make an
                   investment by governments through institutes”.                                                                                                                    enormous contribution. It is a must do.
                                                                                                                                   of school staff. Given that

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