Posted on Thursday 21st May, 2020

Sport has 72 ways to rebuild West Australian communities

A new sporting coalition of winter and annual sports impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic is ready to help rebuild West Australian communities.

More than 735,000 West Australians have been stranded on the sideline, waiting for sport to recommence. Recent developments and an inter-sport coalition are now signalling that WA’s diverse sporting fraternity have 72 ways to rebuild our communities.

The cooperation of the WA’s State Sporting Organisations couldn’t come at a more critical time with both physical and mental health being flagged as areas of risk by the Australian Government.

Gemba has released research that found 44% of Australians are doing less physical activity than before the COVID-19 lockdown. With so many West Australians relegated to restricted activities, grass-root sports will have an important part to play in rebuilding social cohesion in WA communities.

The value of sport in the country and state’s economic rebuild is essential, with SportWest reporting that already local sport has lost 41 million dollars. As a 12.8 billion dollar national industry, the importance of reopening the economy will only be bolstered by local Sport and its surrounding businesses getting underway.

West Australians will have a choice of 72 sports to help get them off the couch and active once again. Powered by the work of volunteers and sports administrators, local-sport is here to reminder West Australians that ‘we’re all in this together’.

Athletics, Badminton, Bocce, Dragon Boating, Diving, Gymnastics, Judo, Karate, Masters Swimming, Rogaining, Rowing, Shooting (Smallbore Rifle & International Practical), Touch Football and Volleyball, are amongst the sports that agree that it won’t take just a few, but every sport to rebuild WA communities.

Masters Swimming WA Executive Officer Sophie Row says these are challenging times for everyone, but it is important for community sport to get back up and running.

“There is a huge participation base of both adults and children alike, across a multitude of sports, that are all missing the physical and mental health benefits associated with being a part of a community club environment at a time when we need it most,” said Row.

Supported by the WA Government, Minister for Sport and Recreation Mick Murray and SportWest, community sports have begun work to rebuild their 2020 competitions and programs. Utilising the Australian Institute of Sport’s ‘Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment’, sports are beginning to establish a roadmap to help their communities return.