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Insights into community sport in Australia


Clubs Under Pressure - (May 2023)

Challenging economic conditions have placed additional strain on community sporting clubs, already struggling with running costs, participation numbers and volunteers after COVID-19 and extreme weather events.

Rising costs and falling revenue are pushing almost one in five (18%) community sporting clubs to the brink of collapse.

More than one in four (27%) clubs are also reporting a decline in registrations among 15-19 year-olds. In the past year, smaller clubs in particular are feeling the greatest pressure, with one in four (24%) small community sporting clubs contemplating closing.

Against a backdrop of rising inflation, 52% of clubs surveyed report cost of living impacts as a growing barrier to member registrations.

More than two in three sporting clubs across Australia (68%) have experienced increased running costs, which is a substantial increase from 47% in 2021. For these clubs, running costs have increased on average by $20,529.

These worrying trends, along with positive signs of increased participation amongst females and young people, have been uncovered through on online survey with responses from almost 3,000 community sporting clubs across Australia.

Latest Report


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01. 1 in 4 small clubs have considered closing in the last year

02. Rising costs are impacting participation and pushing many clubs towards insolvency

03. Teenagers are continuing to disengage with community sport

04. Clubs are struggling with less volunteers and more administration

05. Clubs want facilities, participation and volunteer support ahead of 2032

Five key challenges identified

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Quotes From the Report

(Martial Arts Club, WA)

Participation fell to almost nil during COVID and has not recovered. There are now more pressures on household budgets and our sport is often considered an expendable extra.

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(Surf Lifesaving Club, VIC)

Most families just want to be able to drop their kids and go. No one wants to or has the time to get involved and help out.

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(Soccer Club, NSW)

Everyone is time poor.

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(Hockey Club, VIC)

We rely on ASF digital fundraising.

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Coming Soon: 2023 Athlete Research Findings