Sport and Recreation
Report prepared by:
1. Importance of Sport and Recreation.
a. Individual and Society
b. Government Approach
2. Regional Council Approaches.
b. Southern Grampians
3. The Moyne Shire Approach.
a. The not so difficult.
b. Some extra effort.
1. Importance of Sport and Recreation:
Involvement in some form of sport and or recreation by individuals
has been shown to have highly beneficial impacts on both the
individual and society at large. Some of the benefits from this
involvement can be seen in physical well being, tackling obesity,
reduction in mood swings and depression, to increased self
esteem, developing a sense of belonging. Participation in sport
has also been demonstrated to point to reductions in criminal
activity. Belonging to a sports club encourages ownership of club
facilities; there is then an immediate drop in the incidence of theft
and vandalism for those people who may have committed a crime
and who subsequently join a sports club.
The Victorian Government
The Victorian Government has recognised the importance of sport
and recreation with various programs including ‘Go for Your Life’
aimed at tackling obesity, and ‘A Fairer Victoria” aimed at reducing
the incidence of disadvantage. These programs point to the
important role sport and recreation plays in the life of children-
enhancing participation and developing an understanding of
playing by the rules;
in the life of young people- 18-25 years sport is a major contributor
to a happy life;
helping Victorians to maintain an independent life style- through an
exercise regime to keep fit;
building new partnerships with Indigenous Victorians- sport and
recreation has been shown to reduce boredom and providing a
means for developing broader community involvement.
Another area where the Victorian Government has focused
attention is on Community Strengthening. The government
supports people becoming more active, confident and resilient and
aims to cultivate these attributes at the community level.
Community strengthening activities create strong social
institutions, improved well-being and increased social and
economic opportunities. People measure community strength by
things such as the local organisations that welcome them.
People’s involvement in sport and recreation is an indicator of a
more connected community.
The ‘Sports for All’ program introduced in 1997 aimed at
encouraging students at Springvale Secondary College to
participate in a variety of sports after school. The aim was to
discourage the increasing use of video games (National research
shows that of the 5-14 year olds 71% play electronic or video
games compared to 66% that play organised sport) by introducing
students to ‘come and try’ games that were conducted by
members of local sports clubs after school hours. Starting with 300
students this program now boasts over 10,000 members.
In Victoria there are more than 16,000 volunteer based community
sport and recreation clubs, these attract over 349,000 volunteers
annually within the state.
There are some success stories relating to volunteer committees.
For example at Tangambalanga the committee was able to muster
700 people in various local communities to have the capacity to
build a community centre in excess of $1 Million.
You would think given these figures that the state of volunteerism
within the Moyne Shire would be very healthy. However it appears
after talking with all hall and recreation committees that this is far
from the truth. In actual fact many committees feel the burden of
lack of members and often complain that ‘all the work is left to too
This has recently been evidenced by the committee of
management for the Macarthur Swimming Pool. One of the long
time volunteers has retired after years of service which has placed
a heavier burden on those who remain. This in turn means that
current members are reviewing their positions as committee
members and want also to leave at the end of the this season
Professionals in the area of volunteering tell us that the face of
voluntary work (ers) is changing. The type of volunteering where
people just see a job that needs doing in the community and pitch
in to get it done seems to be diminishing. This is very much a
generation issue with the baby boomers more prepared to give of
their time free of charge. Younger generation (X and Y) appear to
be taking a different approach to voluntary work that is less
Given the difficulty in recruiting members to be volunteers to the
various committees it is in the interest of the Moyne Shire to
ensure that all possible assistance is given to the local committees
to encourage them to persist in their efforts.
2. Regional Council Approaches.
Have a staff of 2; and has a budget of approx $190K for sport and
recreation. Involvement of the recreation officer in the sport and
recreation area is centred mainly on administrative matters in
making grant applications and the follow up these require. He
provides more of a facilitator’s role of putting committees in contact
with available resources. There is not much involvement in
promoting sport and recreation within the community; this means a
reactive rather than proactive approach by council, as there is no
promotion of the benefits of sport and recreation within the
community. This is due mainly to staffing constraints.
Glenelg have undertaken a major consultative review (Stratcorp) in
April 2007 at a cost of $60K which included $30K from a Sport and
Recreation grant and $30K from the Council. The previous review
was done in 1998. Recommendations from the review have to take
place according to priority. This prioritization often means some
things miss out and others have to be fought for with tooth and
nail. Council has identified urgent areas of attention and budgeted
The structure of the review is pretty much like all reviews in that it
looks at a demographic profile, then summarises trends. There is a
summary of previous reports; looking at what has got us to this
point in time. An examination of existing facilities is followed by the
consultation process where local groups and individuals are
contacted for input into the review. This is then followed by draft
reports for community feedback then a final report with
The best information/summary from the review is as follows,
‘The Glenelg Shire has evolved into that of a facility, asset and
maintenance provider, landlord and funding body; it has little
involvement in direct service or program provision. Council does
not have the facility or capacity to deliver leisure activities and
therefore its role should be focused on provision of access to
training, funding and other services.’
Glenelg has a dedicated web site specifically for sport and
recreation and a Sports and Recreation Committee which includes
councillors and staff. This committee pays close attention to sport
and recreation matters.
b. Southern Grampians
Their review is similar to that of Glenelg and was finalised in
November 2006 and also conducted by Stratcorp, in fact they bare
remarkable similarities to one another. The cost was in the vicinity
of $70K with again a grant from Sport and Recreation for $30K.
The remainder was met by Council.
Summarising the review as follows:
‘Generally speaking the Southern Grampians Shire Council does
not directly deliver recreational and sporting programs. Rather it
makes available Council buildings and spaces for activities to be
delivered by other public and/or private providers, and in some
instances contributes funding toward service delivery through
If Council adopts a review of its sport and recreational facilities and
services then it must be prepared and able to allocate funds to
specific programs as an important finding mentions,
‘opportunities appear to exist for Council to increase targeted
leisure programs particularly in the smaller townships, as a
constraint on program development and expansion identified by
many service providers was the lack of funding’.
The audit of sporting and recreational facilities was very well done
and gathered a variety of relevant information.
A previous strategy plan was conducted in 1997.
There is only one person in the Recreation area who is relatively
new and inexperienced in the position. He is located in Hamilton
which is the centre of the Shire activity.
They have conducted 2 reviews of sport and recreation within the
last 6 to 7 years. The latest review was conducted in house and
representatives from Corangamite who conducted the review do
not recommend these types of ‘in house reviews’. They believe
that professional consultants are better able to provide the depth of
research/analysis that is required to complete such a review.
The structure of the review included research into the
demographics of the shire and investigation of trends with the
The Corangamite Shire has a decreasing and ageing population.
Older people are less likely to participate in structured activity and
may require different leisure and recreational services as well as
encouragement to maintain an active lifestyle.
From this they identified a trend that older residents favoured
activities like walking and swimming.
Other areas where Council needed to concentrate focus on
While the population of Corangamite Shire is ageing, it is still
important to maintain a focus on activity levels in children and
Council should consider the preference for informal activities
in its capital infrastructure budgets.
Communities will be seeking future support from Council in
supporting organisations to meet management standards and
Communities will be increasingly looking to Council to assist
committee skill development and volunteer retention and
In general the feedback from those who participated in the
consultative surveys was that there was little planning and that
Council was inconsistent in its approach to a number of issues
including facility allocations, fees and charges, grants, capital
developments etc. Some of the most effective things they have put
in place have been:
*Reference/Advisory committees – some town based and some
facility based with bi monthly meetings.
*A strong policy framework for things such as fees and charges,
support to facilities, maintenance responsibilities etc.
*Five year capital works planning.
Corangamite have been active in promoting their ‘give it a go’
program which runs for one week. Council gives each sport and
recreational Committee of Management some funding to arrange
for activities to be run over the week and encourage community
involvement. The Ballarat YMCA operate the 6 pools within the
Corangamite Shire under contractual arrangements reporting
directly to the Recreation Department.
Has budgeted $90K for a review of sport and recreation that is
being conducted at the moment and in its final stages. The project
is managed by Capacity Consulting. Council were very wary of a
consultancy template being used (this explains why Glenelg and
Southern Grampians reviews appear similar) to complete the
review and so took a project management approach. This meant
that staff had to be available to assist the consultants for a couple
of days each week.
The report has identified that the lack of staff numbers impacts on
the level of service provided to the community in the area of sport
and recreation. It also made recommendations that
Include the establishment of two new positions at Council – an
Open Space Planner and a Recreation Project Officer.
It aims to put in place a plan for the next 10-20 years.
The support that sporting and recreation clubs receive from
Council is of a similar nature to all other councils and consists of-
Funding advice: Maintenance assistance: Ground use advice:
Capital works funds: Community Development Fund: Clubs and
Organisations Information: Project Planning and support: Events
development advice: Insurance advice. They also provide an
annual forum on funding programs that are available and offer this
to committees of management and individuals that may be
Individual and team groups that compete on a national level are
also able to access funding from council to help them to participate
at the national level.
Council has an important role in promoting healthy communities
through the provision of recreation facilities, programs and
services. A number of community groups provide programs that
promote and support healthy lifestyles and rely on Council support
through the provision of community facilities and funding.
It is important in any review that areas where Council has failed to
provide the level of service that the community expects should be
identified and action taken to improve performance. This has
happened in the Warrnambool review and is evidenced as follows-
The recreation policy framework at Council is not adequate and
requires review and improvement. Policies such as standards for
maintenance, equity for leases and licenses and funding for
projects need to be developed. The Plan has identified this as a
key requirement and recommendations have been developed.
Identifying a need is easy, but it is an entirely different thing to find
the funds that are needed to satisfy that need. These types of
review into sport and recreation have all identified areas where
Councils could improve performance and increase levels of
participation and community satisfaction. Discussions between
stakeholders concerning critical needs, setting of budgets and
management of projects all require extensive council time and
resources. These types of reviews if they are to be conducted
require a commitment by council to see them through to a final
conclusion. In this light the Warrnambool Council have committed
within their 2007-08 budget $5.78Million for their sport and
The Moyne Shire could learn from this review with
recommendations from the community that Council could-
Provide the people that participated in the Recreation Plan with
feedback on the outcomes of the process.
Have more regular contact with local clubs and organisations.
Work in partnership with the specific groups that were formed
through the Recreation Plan such as Mountain Bike Riding and
Skateboard riders and
For Council divisions to work together in providing an integrated
response to community group requests and concerns.
On the 11th of September this year all Councillors within the Moyne
Shire were emailed with a request to provide information/thoughts
as to the involvement that the Moyne Shire has in sport and
recreation. This required each councillor to assess what the
Council does at present and to advise whether they thought this
was satisfactory and if not, then what.
Of the ten current councillors two replied. The Mayor, and Geoff
Rollinson, have both made positive suggestions that the council
could be more proactive in the provision of programs (not just a
provider of funds) and also in terms of strategic planning.
Pretty much the same result was evident when eight Moyne Shire
employees (ranging from Senior Management to rank and file)
were contacted by email with the same question. Of the two who
responded David Tozer made the comment that the department do
a very good job, but fall down in promoting their own
achievements-pushing the good stories. Geraldine Edar was
enthusiastic in trying to achieve a coordinated approach between
Youth Development and Sport and Recreation.
Of the three Committees of Management contacted they all
responded with positive assessments of Councils involvement with
Sport and Recreation. They did not however, provide any ideas
when it came to future directions, plans etc., they may have and
any help they could receive from Council.
As there is a Walking Track project currently underway between
the Moyne and Warrnambool Shires this has not been investigated
in the current review. However the importance of walking tracks in
relation to physical activity cannot be underestimated especially as
they form a vital part of the exercise regime for an ageing
There are many positives in the provision of recreational activities
within the Moyne Shire. This is evident particularly in the area of
special events. Council have achieved a high level of involvement
in events like the Great Victorian Bike Ride and the 2006
Commonwealth Games. The positives extend to major project
planning including the Victoria Park Master Plan at Koroit, the
Open Space Strategy and the Rail Trail Feasibility study.
Community satisfaction with respect to recreational facilities and
appearance of Public Areas rate very highly in the Moyne Shire
and both areas are seen to be extremely relevant to community
a. The not so difficult.
*The Moyne Shire website should be updated to include specific
mention of the Sport and Recreation group, its role and other
important information. It should be site specific with a concerted
effort being made to update the email listings of sport and
recreation clubs that can be linked to the website. This would
enable efficient transfer of the latest news and information.
Initially this should be done by the Recreation
Officer and then maintained on a regular basis.
No financial outlay required.
*Sport and recreation could be given a higher profile outside the
Business and Tourism Department within which it exists. An in and
out of house approach that marketed the Department’s
achievements and successes is one method. This could include a
monthly newsletter that highlights achievements and delivers
Format of newsletter to be designed by marketing
personnel, regular input from Recreation Officer
and others associated with recreation.
Initial cost $300 in design fees, thereafter costs
absorbed by Business and Tourism.
*Every opportunity to promote an active and healthy lifestyle
should be seized and should include such things as staff and other
discounts to join sports/recreation clubs that are subsidised
through Council budgets. We need to be especially proactive in
this area as it demonstrates our attention to the importance of
exercise and social cohesion.
To be incorporated within the above newsletter.
b. Some extra Effort
*At present a resident of Moyne who is employed by the
Corangamite Shire performs funding applications on behalf of
Moyne Shire community groups (for instance Port Fairy Football
Netball Club, and the Mortlake Golf Club) in his own time and
presumably at cost. (This situation exists in all probability due to
the fact that the services that are offered by the Shire Council are
not sufficiently promoted.)
The Moyne Shire performs a funding service to the community in
that it has an officer to assist, prepare and manage funding
applications to State and Federal Governments. This service
should be further developed and promoted so that the Council
performs the full gamut of grant processes. This service should
also be provided by the Moyne Shire free of charge and be well
marketed so that groups within the community are aware of the
services offered by the Council.
*The profile of Sport and Recreation within the Moyne Shire could
be elevated to a higher level by the formation of a ‘Sport and
Recreation Committee’. This committee would include the
Recreation Officer together with 2 Councillors who show a
particular interest in achieving a healthy and active lifestyle.
Membership could include a professional sports person who lives
within the shire who is able to provide advice on sport related
issues. Other interested persons within council employment would
be invited to join the committee. The aim of establishing this
committee is to provide ideas as to how the Council can better
assist its residents to engage in active pastimes.
Recreation Officer to establish this committee and
drive the items for agendas and recommendations
that would result from the meetings.
*As there has not been a major review of all sport and recreation
facilities within the Moyne Shire this should be undertaken by a
professional Consultative Group. This group would have a
predetermined set of terms of reference and be required to pay
close attention to those terms when identifying trends and
recommendations. Special emphasis needs to be paid to selection
of the Consultative Group. Funding is available from the Victorian
Government to partially offset the cost of this project. However this
option should only be considered by Council if it is prepared to give
it the full assistance that is needed through budgets etc to
implement the recommendations that will undoubtedly follow.
Recommendation be put to Council that a review of
all sport and recreation facilities within the Shire be
performed by a team of professional consultants.
Terms of reference to be determined by Business
and Tourism in conjunction with other interested
parties. Cost would be in the vicinity of $70K with
a grant available from the Victorian Government for
*Sport and recreation investigations indicate that very few council’s
undertake performance measurement in relation to sport and
recreation, the Consultative Group could look carefully at the
importance of such measurement and advise accordingly on any
To be undertaken as part of the consultant review.
*Particular attention should be paid to identifying the role of
Council in its provision of sports and recreation services. Council
should be more than just a facilitator and should have a more
intense and proactive role in the sport and recreation area.
To be undertaken as part of the consultant review.
*The importance of providing business advice to Committees of
Management cannot be overlooked as financial planning and
shrewd saving programs can decrease the need to look outside
the committee for funding. Having said that, Council should review
its level of funding that is made available on an annual basis to
sports and recreation clubs. Most of the clubs bemoan the fact that
the level of funding provided for maintenance is too low. Clubs are
not interested in the provision of new facilities so much as being
able to maintain current facilities to an acceptable standard. To
confirm this refer to the Wallis Group report ‘Local Government
Satisfaction 2006, where maintenance of recreation facilities and
provision of more funding for sports clubs rated as two of the top
three responses. (p.16)
The need for any increase and costs associated
with that increase would be a term of reference
for the above review.
*The formation of a group that can actively involve the community
in, and promote healthy lifestyles, should be investigated by the
Shire Council. This group would also be able to identify funding
needs within the Shire and assist the Grants Officer in preparing
applications for funding.
To be undertaken as part of the consultant review.