Well-credentialed group all ready to play

Play Well Leadership group. | Newsreel
The Play Well Leadership Group meets in Canberra. | Supplied: Australian Institute of Sport

The founder of parkrun Australia, a four-time Paralympian and the President of the Royal Life Saving Society are part of a new leadership group which will help deliver Australia’s first co-designed sport participation strategy.

The Play Well strategy was launched late last year by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to transform sport participation in the lead up to Brisbane 2032 and beyond.

The 14 members of the Play Well Leadership Group, which met for the first time this week, bring knowledge, expertise and insights from within and beyond the sport sector and will oversee the implementation of the strategy and deliver on its vision that ‘everyone has a place in sport’.

Tim Oberg, who founded parkrun Australia knows better than most the power of sport and community involvement.

When parkrun Australia started in 2011, it began as one event on the Gold Coast and grew to over 450 locations and more than one million participants across the Asia Pacific region.

“I believe that all children have the right to grow up in a healthy environment that allows them to play, have fun and achieve their full potential,” Mr Oberg, now founder of the Healthy Kids Project, said.

“I am excited to share the knowledge and experiences I have gained during my tenure at parkrun Australia to help improve participation in sport and recreation by all Australians, and particularly children.”

The group will work closely with State/Territory partners, sporting organisations and the ASC to bring the strategy to life.

ASC CEO Kieren Perkins said creating great sporting environments and experiences was central to the strategy.

“We’ve got an incredible opportunity ahead of us to align the sector, resources and investment so we can create lasting change as we look towards Brisbane 2032 and beyond.”

The Play Well Leadership Group is:

  • Richard McInnes, Executive General Manager, Sport and Community Capability, ASC.
  • Tim Oberg, Founder, Healthy Kids Project.
  • Phil Hamdorf, Chair Skate Australia and Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability CEO.
  • Alexandra Ash, President, Royal Life Saving Society.
  • Rochelle Eime, Professor of Sport Science, Federation University.
  • Glenn Williams CEO, Baseball Australia.
  • Cameron Dare, Chairman, Team Sports 4 All.
  • Trisha Squires, Head of AFL Queensland.
  • Maia Tua-Davidson, Manager, Welcoming Clubs.
  • Molina Asthana, Chair, Gymnastics Victoria and Founder, Multicultural Women in Sport.
  • Mitch Gourley, Paralympian and National Manager, Sport4All.
  • Rob Hyatt, Manager Education Programs Koorie Heritage Trust, Owner Cultural Pathways, Wotjobuluk/Gunai Kurnai.
  • Tim Klar, CEO QSport (State partner rotation).
  • Matt Hayes, Director Strategy and Investment, Sport and Recreation, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (WA) (Government rotation).