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Staff member aspires to increase participation in sport

[Posted: 20 Jul 2016]

Michael Gibbings

The coordinator of Perth's largest social sport competition recently joined over 500 people at the National Sports Convention in Sydney after receiving a travel bursary award from Australian University Sport.

Curtin Stadium social sport program coordinator, Michael Gibbings, received the award for his exceptional efforts in building social sport in the Curtin community and for developing a number of professional development initiatives.        

Michael gained some valuable industry insights at the two-day convention based at Rosehill Racecourse  after attending a series of workshops on topics including sport and recreation facility management, programs and activities to grow participation and technological solutions to enhance experience and patronage.

He is preparing to implement some new initiatives based on his learnings, particularly around female participation in sport, inspired by a presentation by Sport England CEO Jennie Price.

"A lot of women drop off from continuing with sport and physical activity due to body image issues and the biggest thing I think is that organisations are not set up to house women," he said.

"We need to accommodate women and break down these barriers because it's not a one-size-fits-all environment.

Increasing female participation will be a key focus for us in 2016."

Michael said amongst several inspirational keynote speakers at the convention, Sport New Zealand CEO Peter Miskimmin stood out as his personal favourite.

"I loved how much passion he had and the way that he made the whole room question the sport industry and why the market is changing and we're not," he said.

"Social sport is a changing dynamic and people want less commitment and are interested in things like 'pay per play' systems.

We need to meet the demand and adapt."

Technology was a focus of one of the streams Michael selected to attend at the convention, and he now has plans to introduce new mobile applications into his social sport competition and looking at other ways to effectively communicate with participants.

Find out more about the social sport competition at Curtin Stadium.