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CEO Report: WA sport being showcased on the big stage

Following a couple of years where COVID-19 has affected our ability to go and enjoy sport at the elite level, over the past few weeks and for the next few to follow, there is sport for everyone to saviour.

A personal highlight was the rugby league State of Origin last weekend. It was a great to see nearly 60,000 fans, those who are heavy consumers of league and those just interested to see what it is all about, enjoy a close contest for the first half, before the mighty NSW Blues ran away with Game Two in the second half.

This Saturday, the Wallabies take on Eddie Jones’ English side in the first of three tests to be played on Australian soil, before next month the International Festival of Football also kicks off at Optus Stadium.

Our State Government has a clear strategy to deliver major sporting events to our State to not only increase tourism and exposure of Western Australia but to also provide opportunities to grow sport.

SportWest believes it is important that while attracting these big events draws in investment and tourists, we also need to make sure that it delivers benefits to the grassroots of the respective sports.

We have no doubt that watching the elite of the rugby league or international superstar rugby union players or the best the English Premier League has to offer will no doubt result in more people, particularly children, wanting to give those sports a try at a community level.

Netball will also greatly benefit from hosting the grand final of the Super Netball on Sunday at a sold-out RAC Arena when our West Coast Fever take on the Melbourne Vixens in what is shaping up as a magnificent final. On behalf of WA sport, I want to wish the West Coast Fever and Netball WA all the best for the weekend and let’s hope that the trophy stays on the western seaboard.

Our talented athletes are also showcasing the strength of WA sport globally with cyclist Jai Hindley and golfer Minjee Lee dominating on the world stage, which is another great advertisement for what our industry can and does produce through its talent pathways. I am sure there will be more great WA performances to revel in once the Commonwealth Games kick off in Birmingham on 28 July. The WA contingent is growing by the day and no doubt a few Commonwealth Gold Medals will find their way back home.

Off the field. This week we hosted the first of the SportWest Webinar Series which focused on Politics and Sport. I want to thank Jason Marocchi from GRA Partners and Emma Ramage from Hawker Britton for providing some wonderful insights, information and guidance to the more than 50 SportWest Members who attended.

Jason and Emma have very strong and long backgrounds not only in the political world but also in sport so their perspectives were extremely valuable and relevant.

We have a few topics under consideration for the next webinar however, if you have an idea of what you would like to hear about in a webinar forum please reach out to us.

Thank you to the 70 Members who joined us last night to mark the EOFY at our Sundowner at The Park in Floreat. SportWest is committed to strengthening the sense of industry within WA sport and it was great to see many sport administration professionals and volunteers connecting and re-connecting.

One of the key themes discussed at the webinar on Wednesday was the need to advocate as a collective and one of the ways we, as an industry, can achieve that is by developing relationships, sharing resources and engaging with another. Now that we have begun to live with COVID, SportWest will be providing Members more opportunities to connect and we encourage you to get involved to benefit not only yourself, but your organisation and the industry as a whole.

We are hosting a General Meeting later this month and Members will have received their invitation.

The key element of this meeting will be the launch of the much-anticipated WA Sport Industry Remuneration and Benefits Report. The last report of this kind was published in 2014 and provided a comprehensive overview of salary and benefits for employees in the industry and without wanting to give too much away, this latest report provides some very clear opportunities for WA sport.

Off the back of the study, we now know that as an industry we employ more women than men however, women are underrepresented in senior management roles. We also know that our workforce has shifted dramatically towards being more part-time and casual. How we address these findings and others will be discussed by a panel of experts at our General Meeting so, if you haven’t confirmed your attendance, please ensure you advise our Team and mark it in your calendar.

Excitingly, we are also moving closer and closer to finalising of our Social Return on Investment project and the initial findings are staggering and will be a game changer for how we communicate about the value of sport in WA to governments, corporate stakeholders and the community. We cannot wait to share those findings.

As you can see it has been an action-packed period for WA sport and SportWest and there is more to come so, make sure you stay informed via Sportsview and our social media platforms.

Matt Fulton
Chief Executive Officer

First Published: 1 July 2022

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