Sport in Australia

A Sporting Nation?
Underfunded, Undervalued
and in Trouble

Australia has a reputation as a sporting nation, but the truth is that grassroots sport is severely underfunded. Athletes and clubs struggle to fund the equipment, travel, coaching and facility upgrades needed to play sport.

Our mission is to help Australia’s athletes, clubs and organisations turn around this funding shortfall and break down the barriers that stop participation. We believe in a future where everyone can play sport.

Barriers to Playing Sport

Sport participation has significantly declined over the past decade. Australia is now one of the least active nations in the world. Barriers that stop people from being physically active vary greatly and can include a person's social, cultural, gender and economic backgrounds.

  • COST


was the average [mean] cost to play a season of sport in 2021.  In addition to registration, there are additional costs for equipment, travel and uniforms.​

This is a large investment for one season of sport. It places extra stress on families with more than one child playing sport, or children who play more than one sport.​

  • TIME

22 Hours

is the average paid and unpaid workday for parents, leaving precious little time for healthy activities as convenience has the precedent out of necessity.​

Shortcuts like takeaway meals and screen time to relax has become the norm as we find less time to stay physically active.​

  • Access


of Australians live in regional and remote areas. The distance to clubs and facilities can make it hard to take part in sport.​

Accessibility, however, goes beyond physical location. It can include access to infrastructure and transportation. Facilities may not have access for people with disabilities, restricting them from being able to participate.​

  • Confidence


of girls turn their backs on sport by the time they turn 15.

Research from Visa & Year 13 shows that lack of role models, body confidence and conflict with study all play a role in girls dropping out of sport.

Physical inactivity is responsible 10–20% of burden for related diseases in Australia.

The Damaging Impact of This Decline

An extra 15 minutes of brisk walking, 5 days each week, could reduce disease burden due to physical inactivity by an estimated 13%. If this time increased to 30 minutes, the burden could be reduced by 26%. All ages would benefit, particularly people aged 65 and over.​

  • Physical Health


of Australian adults, and 25 per cent of children, are overweight or obese.

An increase in sport and physical activity has a positive impact on physical and mental health and a person's overall wellbeing.

People who are obese have a higher risk of serious health problems such as asthma, sleep apnoea and bone and joint problems. They are also at risk of developing hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and mental illnesses.

The Australian Department of Health estimates that if all Australians met the current guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 times a week, it would reduce the risk of:

  • coronary artery disease by 30%

  • type 2 diabetes by around 27%

  • colon and breast cancer risk

  • depression

  • dementia and cognitive decline in older people

Increased activity can also improve your memory, help with learning new skills and improve mood.

  • Economic Impact

$2.4B (in 2018-19)

is the current cost of inactivity on Australia's annual health bill.

The cost to the health system would have been $1.7 billion higher without the health benefits from current levels of physical activity, including sport, undertaken in Australia.

  • Mental Health

4.3 Million

of Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year.

Australian youth (18-24 years old) have the highest prevalence of mental illness than any other age group. This also coincides with the age that Australians are dropping out of sport.

Other Facts

70% of Children

aged 2-17 do not meet recommended physical activity guidelines​

Ranked 140th

Australian teens rank 140 out of 146 countries for not reaching the recommended daily physical activity​

$88B Extra Health Costs

could be faced by Australia over the next decade without intervention

25% of Children

are overweight or obese.​