At last evenings NSC Oration in Melbourne, the Australian Sport, Recreation and Play Innovation Award winners for 2021 were announced. Recognising the challenges of the Covid pandemic, last night the industry celebrated its own with the awards being presented by the President of Paralympics Australia, Jock O’Callaghan.
This years’ National Sports & Physical Activity Convention (NSC) pivoted and provided a mix of online keynote sessions, over 40 hours of on-demand workshops and the NSC Oration in person at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday.
NSC Convenor, Martin Sheppard, commented on the awards “This year we had the largest number of applications, and what a way to celebrate such a challenging two years. Tonight we recognised the success of our industry and what organisations are doing to encourage Australians to be more active through innovative approaches.”
The finalists in each category are:
1. Programs, Activities and Events
Innovative programs, activities and events that have been developed to encourage the community to be more active.
- Cumberland City Council (NSW) – Healthy Kids Initiative
- AusCycling – Brisbane Cycling Festival
- Belgravia Leisure – e-Learning Programs for mental health and industry training
Winner: Cumberland City Council (NSW) – Healthy Kids Initiative
2. Sports Surfaces
Innovative solutions that allow greater intensity and durability of natural, hybrid and synthetic or hard court surfaces that allow for greater usage.
- Coffs Harbour City Council (NSW) – Coffs Coast Sport & Leisure Park – Synthetic Fields
- Landscape Solutions – Kolombo Reserve
- Stadiums Queensland – Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) Bermudagrass Turf Trial
Winner: Stadiums Queensland – Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) Bermudagrass Turf Trial
3. Technological Solutions and Products
Business to business or the business to consumer innovations that encourage more people to participate, play and recreate.
- AusCycling – Ride Nation Marketplace
- University of Western Australia – KIDDO: Improve your move
- The Y NSW – Gymnastics Online Classes
Winner: AusCycling – Ride Nation Marketplace
4. Playground Design and Development
Designs and developments that allow and encourage more children to play, have fun and be active.
- A SPACE AUSTRALIA – Guyatt Park, Park Warrior Course
- IPAN Deakin University (Vic) – ProjectPARK
- Place Design Group – Variety Livvi’s Place, Glenfield
Winner: Place Design Group – Variety Livvi’s Place, Glenfield
5. Marketing and Communication Innovations
The packaging and communications of an opportunity in a manner that has innovatively encouraged more people to be active.
- Golf Australia – Visionary of the Year
- City of Swan (WA) – Swan Active – COVID 19 Response For Kids
- Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT – How I Roll
Winner: Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT – How I Roll
6. Facility Design and Development
Innovative, sustainable design and management that creates an environment where people are active.
- Dwp | Design Worldwide Partnership – Eric Tweedale Stadium
- City of Swan (WA) – Beechboro Community Hub
- Monash Council (Vic) – Oakleigh Recreation Centre Redevelopment
Winner: Monash Council (Vic) – Oakleigh Recreation Centre Redevelopment
7. Australian Sport, Recreation and Play Innovation Award Overall Winner
The overall winner is “How I Roll” by Wheelchair Sport NSW/ACT.
Based on the idea, “If she can see it, she can be it”, Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT wanted to increase the amount of “roll models” for girls and women in wheelchair sport.
With funding from NSW Office of Sport, they wrote a song called “How I Roll” describing the tenacity and spirit of the girls and women in the community. They partnered with ARIA Award Winner Casey Donovan on vocals and Mo MacRae to direct the video.
As a result of “How I Roll” and other initiatives, female membership of Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT has increased by 29% to 35% in the last 12 months.