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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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