The Impact of COVID-19 on Community Sport

The Impact of COVID-19 on Community Sport

October 18, 2023

Community Sport


Community sport is a way of life in Australia. It has brought communities together for generations. But it is facing an uncertain and tumultuous future. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is taking a serious toll on community sports clubs and organisations across the country. In June 2021, we asked clubs about the ongoing impact that they are facing. Our research highlights key challenges related to disastrous financial instability, reduced participation and declining volunteering. 

Key Findings:

  • An estimated 9000 clubs around Australia are at risk of going under. Many more clubs simultaneously face reduced revenue and increased running costs, threatening financial stability.
  • 43% of clubs reported reduced participation, most prominent among younger Australians. Both keeping members engaged and finding new members were significant challenges.
  • 42% of clubs lost volunteers due to increased pressures and workload related to implementing COVID-19 protocols.
  • 40% of clubs reported a decline in participation among teens (aged 11-18 years). Young Australians form the lifeblood of community sport and their withdrawal from it is likely to continue to negatively impact clubs in the future.

Play a role in the recovery:

There are three ways in which those who value community sport can help: 1. Register your club for tax-deductible donations with the Australian Sports Foundation and create a fundraising project; 2. Make a tax-deductible donation to your local club; or 3. Donate to the Australian Sports Foundation Back to Sport Fund to support community sport's recovery from COVID-19. We call on all who value community sport to join us in this campaign and to assist in any way you can.

Download this report now to find out more about this urgent crisis and how you can help.

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