The National Sports & Physical Activity Convention is thrilled to announce the launch of its highly anticipated conference program, aiming to discover what is possible in Inspiring Innovation and Driving Participation. Designed to challenge and inform the whole sports, recreation, leisure, sports facilities, and sports grounds ecosystem, it brings together an exceptional list of key national and international industry players, thought leaders, and experts along with insights from outside the industry for a transformative experience in how we lead, grow and improve sport and leisure.

Setting the scene will be the Global Thought Leader Keynote focusing on the pivotal theme of “Children – Our Next Generation of Participants and Leaders.” Delving into strategies for engaging and encouraging young people to stay active, promoting their involvement in community sport and recreation. The discussion will draw insights from successes and failures worldwide, fostering a resilient systems approach involving sport, government, schools, and providers. Join the conversation with Alison Oliver, MBE, Chief Executive Officer of the UK’s Youth Sport Trust, and Tom Farrey, Founder and Executive Director of USA’s The Aspen Institute.

Alison Oliver

Tom Farrey

Andrew Sly

Takanori Fukuoka

Tina Saaby

The National Sports Convention partners with the International Association for sports and Leisure Facilities to form NSC | IAKS 2024. This partnership garners continued international expertise with global keynote; “Spaces and Places – Development of Active Environments, Neighbourhoods, and Cities to Encourage a Healthier and More Active Society”. Featuring Andrew Sly, Deputy Director-General – Sport & Recreation, Queensland Department of Tourism and Sport; Takanori Fukuoka, Associate Professor, RLA (US), Ph.D., Tokyo University of Agriculture; and IAKS member Tina Saaby, Director, The Danish Town Planning Institute.

NSC Founder and CEO, Martin Sheppard commented “the NSC | IAKS 2024 remains dedicated to leading industry professional development and fostering innovative best practices that push the boundaries of conventional thinking across various sectors”. The conference presents eight distinct streams covering sport management, sports facilities, aquatics and leisure management, sports grounds and spaces. It extends to other integral components of the ecosystem, encompassing play, active cities, communities and individuals, schools and sports, as well as participation and inclusion. This comprehensive approach serves as the go-to professional development hub, catering to the diverse needs of the entire industry.

The 2024 program continues its long history of tackling the essential strategies of “Future Proofing Sport – Emerging Narratives Changing the Ecosystem of Sport,”. Gain broad and expert perspectives from David Sharpe, APM OAM, CEO of Sport Integrity Australia; Richard McInnes, Executive General Manager, Sport and Community Capability, Australian Sports Commission; Karen Jones, Chief Executive, Office of Sport; Amy Ridley, Director, Goalball NSW, Goalball Paralympian; and Alison Burchell, Chief Executive Officer, Solomon Islands National Sports Council.

NSC | IAKS 2024 program has further challenged itself to address the critical issues we face and present innovative solutions through eight cross-sector Big Issue Keynote Sessions. Including “Alternative Funding Models for Sport”, “The Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) For Sport”, Participation and Inclusion – Compare and Contrast Global Strategies, Sustainable Design for Next Generation of Community Facilities”, “Active Cities – Strategy to Reality”, “The Environmental Narrative for Sports Grounds, Play and the Human Right of Young People to be More Active”, and “The Health Agenda”.

Witness also the alternate thinking we can all embrace from the likes of Chris Gillings, Venture Capital, Five V Capital Founder, Cut Through Ventures and Sarah Carney, National CTO – ANZ, Microsoft. IAKS Member Mike Hall, Partner, FaulknerBrowns Architects, IAKS Member Marc Riemann, Manager Aquatic & Leisure Centres, Cologne City Council.

With over 130 speakers converging to share their expertise, the professional development opportunity at NSC | IAKS 2024 is immense. Learn from Dr Allison Stewart, Deputy CEO, Infrastructure Victoria and Helen Connolly, Commissioner for Children and Young People SA, Diana Seng, Director, Children & Youth Program Development, Sport Singapore and Michelle Murray, Executive Manager, Health Promotion Systems VicHealth. The line up of great minds sharing their knowledge for the industry is unrivalled.

Chris Gillings

Sarah Carney

Marc Reimann

Dr Allison Stewart

Helen Connolly

Michelle Murray

Sheppard continues, “not only does the 2024 program confront the critical issues, it debates them, giving the industry a voice to question, discuss and challenge national and global perspectives and strategies”. Join the new session formats where industry leaders will present their perspectives. These will then be discussed between the audience and a panel of experts with skin in the game. The sessions offer an opportunity to debate these critical issues and vote for your preferred outcome and roadmap to achieve it. NSC | IAKS 2024 offers all of this along with announcements yet to come on the NSC Oration, more information on the 24+ workshops, 4 Industry Tours and two days of networking and fun in the coming weeks.

As we all know “the only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible”, there we can Inspire Innovation and Drive Participation.

See the Full NSC | IAKS 2024 Program on the website here.

Editor’s Notes

The National Sports & Physical Activity Convention (NSC) has grown since 2016 as APAC’s largest and most prominent community sport and recreation convention and expo. In 2023 had overwhelming support and participation from the largest ever gathering of the sports and physical activity ecosystem with over 1,550 attendees and a sold-out Expo of 80+ of the latest products, services and innovations. The organisers work with its 47 collaborators to curate a program with international and Australian experts, providing the most comprehensive program on community sport recreation and sports facilities in Australia.  

Photos from the NSC can be found at

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Further information contact Anthony Reed, at or (03) 9421 0133.

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