The Sports Surfaces Conference is almost here!

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The highly-anticipated National Sports Surfaces Conference is being held as part of the National Sports Convention from 17-18th July in Melbourne.

If you’re interested in attending, or learning more about this Conference, then don’t forgetEarly Bird Registration closes on 1st June (this Friday), so don’t miss out!

One of the key topics to be explored at the National Sports Surfaces Conference is the impact the urbanisation of community sport has on sports surfaces. Specifically, the impact this has on the planners and policy makers within government. This impact is influenced by the motivators of fun, enjoyment, for fitness/health gain and social context, combined with the growth in some sports needs including Football (soccer), AFL Women’s, over 60’s and recreational activities such as jogging and fitness.

Recent data from the Australian Sports Commission’s AusPlay Insights, highlights participation trends for adults (over 15) and children (under 15) and provides excellent indicators into participation rates, motivators and barriers to being active.

The AusPlay research shows that only 59% of adults are active enough for a health gain, (3+ times per week) while for children it is only 2% (active most days) or 7% (active 5 days per week). These alarming facts also are supported when exploring the motivators and barriers. Adults and children’s motivators are similar with health/fitness, fun and enjoyment and social reasons extremely high, and only 5% of people stating that their motivator is performance or competition driven.

Adults between 18 and 44 years state that their main barriers are too many other commitments to exercise and play sport, the 45-65 age group identify that they perceive they have poor health/injuries (ranging from 34-48%) and the 45-65+ cohort believe they are too old! In the children’s age group their guardians believe that from 4 years (84%) to 5-8 years (31%), children are too young to be involved in community sport and physical activity.

The Conference will focus on these trends and specifically on how surfaces can be designed and developed for these cohorts including:














Activity Pods: Integration of play, with recreational sport so that more children can have fun and enjoyment while learning basic sports skills of running, throwing, catching, jumping etc. If these Activity Pods or Multi-use Activity Zones are combined with fitness/jogging tracks, then parents and children can be active at the same time.









Active Recreation ZonesIntegration of sport and active recreation such as jogging and Parkour, as shown in this design in Copenhagen. Marianne Kynde Hestbech from Keingart – Space Activators in Denmark will discuss the purpose, integration and how successful this has been.











Multi-Sports Sites: Designing for many sports works well for all football codes as shown at Moore Park, Sydney where 11 and 5-a-side Football, Rugby Union and Rugby League all share the same surface. Carla Armanet from Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands will share insights as to why they are investing in the technology to cope with demand as Australia’s busiest sports park.

Join us to collaborate, share learnings and develop approaches for meeting the changing demands of our sport and recreation communities. This is your last chance to register and save (by June 1st)!

~ The National Sports Convention Team