Leading for Legacy the Focus at 2024 QSport Conference

Published Fri 31 May 2024

QSport welcomed more than 150 current and emerging leaders from Queensland's sport and recreation landscape to the 2024 QSport Conference on May 29, providing the state’s sport leaders an opportunity to network and collaborate whilst turning their sights to the opportunities and challenges facing grassroots sport leading into Brisbane 2032.

Focusing on the theme of 'Leading for Legacy', the annual conference attracted its largest ever attendance and focused on tangible ideas that will positively impact the Queensland sporting community. 

CEO of QSport, Tim Klar said the QSport Conference has become a standout event on the industry's calendar and that this year's was no exception with the runway from Paris 2024 to Brisbane 2032 adding to the excitement for those working in sport. 

“The QSport Conference is really about inspiration and bringing the industry, the ecosystem together,” said Klar.

“QSport acts as a connective tissue within the Queensland sporting community, and while we know that there are lots of amazing things being done within the industry, they’re being done in parallel instead of in collaboration.

“We’d love for people to go back to their desks tomorrow with a new sense of connection so that they can share aspects of their work and move forwards together,” he said.

Panellist and Australian Sport Commission Executive General Manager Sport & Community Capability, Richard McInnes, spoke about the runway to Brisbane 2032 as a key opportunity for sport participation growth.

“The Australian Sports Commission launched the Play Well strategy last year in November, the work to bring that to life started back in late 2022,” he said.

“The real challenge for us is that the Olympic Games, historically, in any country they’ve been held in, have never delivered a participation increase. That’s quite damning because the marketing spiel that’s rolled out over and over again is that the Olympics, and even World Cups and other national events, drive participation.

“We’ve taken that as a challenge. We want to buck that trend, make sure that when we deliver in Brisbane 2032, there is a meaningful difference in participation rates around the country.

“In using the Play Well Strategy, we want to treat Brisbane 2032 as a springboard, not as the start of the race. The legacy has got to occur before, during and after, not just after,” he finished.

“In order to do that, we need to make sure that our communities, our state and national associations and our clubs around the country are geared up and equipped to capture that interest and convert it into participation. Because the Games and other major events drive interest and awareness, they get people excited.

“The Women’s World Cup last year is a prime example. There was Tillies fever everywhere and there were all these young people turning up to play soccer around the country but the clubs didn’t necessarily have the facilities, resources or capacity to capture that interest..

“The job of my team is to build capability and capacity in the sporting sector. We deal primarily with the NSOs but clearly, NSOs cannot deliver participation programs by themselves. It has to be done with and through their membership organisations or within their advisory boards, it has to get down to community level regardless of their structure. Our job is to support and enable the national bodies to try and build capabilities and capacity on the ground.”

Health and Wellbeing Queensland CEO, Robyn Littlewood said: “For me, legacy is about the things that we can change, it’s not just about the Games.

“Brisbane 2032 is really important, we know that. It’s about sport and stadiums and roads but it’s also about the health of Queenslanders.

"Work is business as usual for us but the Games just makes everything so much bigger and better, more visible and more fun, it really is a beacon for us."