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Call for the golden opportunity for jobs in sports to be used

Australia may be a proud sporting nation, but a national survey found that less than half of Australian parents are aware the Olympics are to be held Down Under.

The surprising finding comes from a study commissioned* by Deakin University, which says Australia is on the brink* of a “golden decade in sport”.

The nation will host 10 global events over the next decade, including the Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032, the Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 2026, the Rugby World Cup in 2027, the Women’s World Cup with New Zealand in 2023 and the Netball World Championship in 2027.

The YouGov survey of more than 1,000 parents and high school students measured their attitudes towards careers in sports and revealed that career opportunities in the sports sector are often underestimated*.

It turned out that the expected growth in sport and events was not fully recognized and that careers in sport – either as a participant or in the industry in general – had to be embraced*.

Kate Moloney, a Melbourne Vixens netball player and a Deakin student, said jobs in the sport are up for grabs.

“Australia’s sports industry is thriving, from hosting major international events to the significant growth of elite women’s competitions,” said Moloney.

Professor David Shilbury, director of Deakin Sport, said the survey uncovered long-held prejudices* about studying and pursuing sport-related careers.

“It is not surprising to hear that the size of the sport and the expected growth are being underestimated,” said Prof Shilbury.

“Although Australia produces some of the world’s most respected sports administrators, managers and scientists, it’s typically the spotlight* on the success of our athletes, not so much the work that gets done off the field.”

The lack of awareness of Brisbane as a venue for the Olympic and Paralympic Games was also reflected in survey respondents underestimating the number of jobs created by the Games.

Two in five pollsters predicted fewer than 5,000 jobs would be created, compared to government job forecasts of more than 130,000.

Prof Shilbury said the next generation of sports professionals have a wide range of options at their fingertips.

Australia’s status as a sporting nation was more recognized by Victorian parents because of the state-sponsored world events – the Australian Open and the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The survey also found that more than 84 percent of parents said their children participated in or were interested in sports.

The most common sports for children were football (34 percent), swimming (32 percent), tennis and basketball (26 percent each), Australian rules football (22 percent), cricket (19 percent), rugby league (18 percent), netball ( 17 percent), athletics (15 percent) and rugby union (13 percent).

Just over half of the parents do sport themselves, and a quarter at least twice a week.

GLOSSARY

  • commissioned: ordered to do something or to do something for payment
  • Edge: at the edge or edge, very close
  • underestimated: thought something was less than it really was
  • hugs: accepted willingly or enthusiastically
  • exposed: uncovered, made visible
  • Prejudices: Tendency to see things a certain way or to believe that one person or thing is better or not as good as others
  • Spotlight: focus of public attention

ADDITIONAL READING

Brisbane is hosting the 2032 Olympic Games

Victoria is set to host the 2026 Comm Games

Celebrate as the Women’s World Cup draws near

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Which university commissioned this research?
  2. Which organization conducted the survey?
  3. How many parents and high school students did you interview?
  4. Name two of the global sporting events that Australia will host over the next decade.
  5. What sport did children participate in or be interested in most?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Brainstorm!
Write a list of as many different sports or sports-related jobs as you can think of. You are not permitted to participate in or play the sport.

Time: Wait 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education

2nd extension
Design a poster, write the text for a radio ad, or create a storyboard for a TV ad. The purpose of your ad is to change people’s minds about the importance of the sports sector. Use the information in the story and your answer to Activity 1 to help yourself.

Time: Wait 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, visual communication design, media studies

VCOP ACTIVITY
Read this!
A headline on an article—or a headline on your text—should grab the audience’s attention and tell them to read it now. Therefore, choosing the perfect words for a headline or title is very important.

Create three new headings for this article. Remember, what you write and how you write it sets the pace for all text, so make sure it fits.

Read your headlines to a partner and use the headline you created to discuss what the article will be about. Discuss the tone and mood you set with just a few short words. Does it do the article justice? Will it grab the audience’s attention the way you hoped it would? Would you like to read more?

Consider how a heading or title is similar to using short, sharp sentences in your text. They can be just as important as complex ones. Go through the last piece of text you wrote and highlight any short, sharp sentences that grab the audience.

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