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Showing the Social Return on Investment of Sport

We all know data is king!

And we all know sport delivers numerous social benefits to our community. Playing sport can increase health, improve social cohesion, reduce crime rates, improve mental wellbeing and improve school attendance just to list a few.

However, these things are difficult to quantify and it is challenging to clearly show the benefit sport has to our community.

In a world where quantifying the ‘return on investment’ is increasingly important, not having a firm grasp on these social benefits puts sport at a disadvantage when advocating for investment.

Over the past 18 months we’ve seen a global response to COVID-19 to stimulate economies through infrastructure investment. Some sectors are very advanced in communicating the return on investments of projects such as roads, rail and bridges deliver. Sport is just at the beginning of the journey to have the capability to articulate with data the benefit of sport in the community.

SportWest has commenced a project with independent economics, policy and strategy advisory firm ACIL Allen to complete a Social Return on Investment for Sport. The project will develop an understanding of the economic and social benefits of participating in organised sport.

Now, we will be able to pinpoint the economic, employment, physical and mental health, social and personal wellbeing benefits of sport so we can start to advocate the benefits and value of investing in our industry.

The Social Return on Investment project will provide us a measure to clearly illustrate our contribution to society and over the coming months we look forward to working with a range of sports to highlight the value we bring to Western Australia with data measures that are easy to communicate.

In addition to this project, we have also partnered with ActiveXchange as our Preferred Community Sport Data Provider.

The partnership will provide an opportunity for limited SportWest Members to engage with the ActiveXchange award winning “SportsEye” online intelligence platform.

The project will help sport make data driven decisions around infrastructure, membership, participation growth opportunities and program success. Sports will also be provided data access to data analytics teams to create insights to assist with advocacy.

This partnership, along with the Social Return on Investment project, will see the sport industry in Western Australia significantly advance its data capabilities and improve outcomes for sport.

Finally, I hope you have all seen the invitation to our Industry Sailing Day in October. It is events such as these which will help us to deliver our desire to strengthen the sense of industry amongst our Members.

These events will provide the perfect opportunity for all sports and those working in our industry to network and increase collaboration.

If you and your team have not secured your place, you can do so via this link.

I hope to see you out on the water.

Matt Fulton

Chief Executive Officer


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