As an industry sector, we all acknowledge that there is a need to encourage more people to be active and provide them with opportunities to play, recreate, keep fit, and participate at all levels. Over the past few years we have seen the growth of new programs, events and more accessible facilities but little growth in formal participation numbers in physical activity in Australia.

The National Sports Convention 2019 has engaged more than a dozen collaborators and over 125 global and Australian organisations who are coming together to encourage the industry to be more innovative in the way it plans, funds, and provides active recreation and community opportunities. On target to achieve over 900 delegates the NSC is the largest community sport convention in the southern hemisphere.

The Australian Sport, Recreation and Play Industry Awards have finalised and announced their Category Finalists. The Innovation Awards aim at recognising and celebrating Innovation that has promoted and encouraged more people to play, recreate and participate in sport. The 2019 Innovation Award winners will be announced as part of the National Sports Convention as part of the conference program on Wednesday 24th July and the overall Australian Sport, Recreation and Play Industry award winner will be presented on Thursday morning at the Global Thought Leaders Session at approximately 10.00am.

Each category winner will receive a trophy and $500 cash award. The winners of each category will then be judged for the Overall Innovations Award and has the opportunity to be 2019 winner and receive a $1,000 Award.

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 in large numbers:

  • Ryan Catholic College (Qld) – ACTIV8 RYAN – A fully inclusive physical education program to activate the whole student population
  • Man v Fat Soccer – Australia (WA), University of Western Australia
  • NAB RunWest (NSW) – Community running event

2. Sports Surfaces

Innovative solutions that allow greater intensity and durability of natural, hybrid, synthetic or hard sports surfaces that allow for greater usage:

  • Aura Sports Floor (QLD) – Aura Sports
  • Australian Catholic University FIFA Field and movable cricket wicket – Hansen Yuncken

3. Technological Solutions and Products

Business to business or the business to consumer innovations that encourage more people to play sport or be active:

  • GameDay Mobile App (NSW), Stack Sports
  • Cricket Australia Coach APP (Vic), Cricket Australia
  • SportsEye Network, (NSW), ActiveXchange


4. Playground Design and Development

Designs and developments that encourage more children to play, have fun and be active:

  • Scarborough Beach Intergenerational Plaza (WA), City of Stirling
  • Carrs Bush Inclusive Playground (NSW) – Hornsby Shire Council
  • Brimbank Nature Play – REVAMP research project, Deakin University

5. Marketing and Communications Innovations

The packaging and communication of an opportunity in a manner that has innovatively encouraged more people to be active:

  • Sports Surfacing for the Colour Blind (Education guide), Grassports Australia (Qld)
  • Exercise Right Week (Aus), Exercise and Sports Science Australia
  • Membership Retention and Communication Campaign, (Aus), Belgravia Leisure and ActiveXchange

6. Facility Design and Development

Innovative design and management that creates and environment where more people are active, (built and natural environments):

  • Penshurst Park Sporting Hub Stage 1 (NSW), Georges River Council
  • Modular Accessible Pavilions, (Qld), Ausco Modular
  • Broken Hill Integrated Wellness Centre (NSW), YMCA (NSW)

7. Young Innovator of the Year

A young person (under 25) who has developed a program, space, activity, technological solution or innovative partnership that is encouraging more people to be active:

  • Laura Eason (NSW), YMCA (NSW)
  • Patrick Beazley (Vic), SPORTENG
  • Annie Flamsteed (Qld), iNSPIRE Sport Online

National Sports Convention Innovation Expo

As part of the National Sports Convention Sport and Recreation Expo the final three short listed applicants will all be provided with an opportunity to display their innovation as part of the Sport and Recreation Expo so that the rest of the industry can appreciate their innovations.

Further Details

Full details of the National Sports Convention can be found at

Interviews and further questions on the National Sport, Recreation and Play Innovation Awards can be sourced from the National Sports Convention convenor, Martin Sheppard at or by contacting 03 9421 0133.

To register for National Sports Convention 2019 click here.

Editor’s Notes:
Full Program can be found at

Further information contact Martin Sheppard, Co-Founder – National Sports Convention
0404 022 355

Event Details
National Sports Convention 23rd – 25th July 2019
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre