Stepping through time to explore the future of sport

By CSIRO

8 April 2013

3 minute read

What does the future hold for Australian sport?

What does the future hold for Australian sport? Image: iStock.

Have you ever stopped to think what the future might hold? Ever wondered what types of technologies we will be using, how we will be travelling to and from work, what countries will be excelling globally, or what sports we will be playing?

Well, the CSIRO Futures team do this on a daily basis. Forget tarot cards and fortune telling, our team combines the right mix of evidence based narratives of the future with a slight dash of imagination.

They have recently partnered up with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to take a look into the future of Australian sport and today the Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Kate Lundy released this new report.

The Australian fitness industry is on the rise. Image: iStock.

Fitness levels are on the rise among many Australians. Image: iStock.

The Future of Australian Sport: Megatrends shaping the sports sector over coming decades identifies six megatrends that are likely to shape Australian sport over the next 30 years. These include:

  1. A perfect fit – The rise of personalized and individualized sport to suit our busy lifestyles and achieve health and fitness objectives.
  2. From extreme to mainstream – The growth of alternative, lifestyle and adventure sports such as BMX cycling, kite boarding and skateboarding and their growing popularity among younger Australians.
  3. More than sport – The attainment of physical health, mental health, community and overseas aid objectives via sport.
  4. Everybody’s game – Demographic change, our ageing population and cultural diversification are changing the sports people play and watch.
  5. New wealth, new talent – Rapid income growth in the Asian region is creating tougher competition and new opportunities on international sports fields.
  6. Tracksuits to business suits – Market pressures, new business models, pressures on volunteerism and the increased cost of sports participation
Australian's are likely to stay connected to sport and keep playing in their older years. Image: iStock.

We’re likely to stay connected to sport and keep playing into our older years. Image: iStock.

As Australians, the majority of us have grown up either playing, watching or enjoying sport and I’m sure you will agree that sport has become an integral part of our society. The report shows us that our ageing population, cultural diversification, economic growth in Asia and the booming health and fitness industry will soon change the way we play and manage sport in Australia.

“Sport is central to our cultural fabric. It also has economic importance and plays a critical role in our health and well being. So it’s important we understand how it’s changing,” says Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, leader of the CSIRO Futures team.

Since we can’t predict the future, it’s important that we start planning ahead sooner rather than later. This will help to anticipate what opportunities and barriers might lay ahead in our sporting sector in years to come. Check out our video below for more information.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtHO2ib8Fn4&w=640&h=360]

Media: Hannah Scott. P: +61 2 6276 6041. M: 0467 707 182. Email: hannah.scott@csiro.au

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