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Call to embrace golden chance for jobs in sport

Ian Royall, June 2, 2022 7:00PM Kids News

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Matildas captain Sam Kerr will be part of Australia’s golden decade of sport, leading her team in the women’s soccer World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. Picture: AAP Image media_cameraMatildas captain Sam Kerr will be part of Australia’s golden decade of sport, leading her team in the women’s soccer World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. Picture: AAP Image


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Australia might be a proud sporting nation but a national survey has revealed that less than half of Aussie parents are aware the Olympic Games are locked in to be held Down Under.

The startling finding came from Deakin University-commissioned* research that said Australia was on the verge* of a “golden decade of sport”.

The nation will host 10 global events over the next decade, including the Olympics and Paralympics in Brisbane in 2032, the Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 2026, rugby World Cup in 2027, women’s soccer World Cup with New Zealand in 2023 and the Netball World Cup in 2027.

Olympics media_cameraBrisbane lights up after the International Olympic Committee announced in July last year that the Queensland capital had been chosen as the host city for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Picture: Richard Walker

The YouGov survey of more than 1000 parents and senior high school students measured their views of careers in sport, revealing that job opportunities in the sporting sector were often underestimated*.

It found the expected growth in sport and events was not being fully recognised, and that careers in sports – either as participants or in the sector generally – needed to be embraced*.

Melbourne Vixens netballer and Deakin student Kate Moloney said jobs in sport were there for the taking.

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

Sports Alliance Presser media_cameraMelbourne Vixens netballer and Deakin University student Kate Moloney says jobs in sport are there for the taking. Picture: Andrew Henshaw

Deakin Sport director Professor David Shilbury said the survey exposed long-held biases* about studying and pursuing sport-related careers.

“It’s unsurprising to hear sport’s size and expected growth is being underestimated,’’ Prof Shilbury said.

“Although Australia produces some of the world’s more respected sport administrators, managers and scientists, it is typically the success of our athletes that steals the limelight*, not so much the work that is achieved beyond the field of play.’’

The lack of awareness about Brisbane hosting the Olympics and Paralympics was also reflected in the survey respondents’ underestimation of the number of jobs being created by the Games.

Two out of five survey respondents predicted fewer than 5000 jobs would be created, compared to government job forecasts of more than 130,000.

Volleyball media_cameraJosh Slack, right, is the volleyball head coach at Queensland Academy of Sport, and is working with the next generation of star players ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Prof Shilbury said the next generation of sports professionals had a broad range of opportunities at their fingertips.

Australia’s status as a sporting nation was more likely to be acknowledged by parents from Victoria because of the world events – Australian Open and Formula One Grand Prix – hosted by the state.

The survey also found that more than 84 per cent of parents reported their children participated or were interested in sports.

Junior girl soccer players media_cameraSoccer is the most common sport for children, with these junior girls excited about the 2023 Women’s World Cup coming to Australia. Picture: Michael Klein

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

Just over half of parents participated in sport themselves, with a quarter doing so at least twice a week.


  • commissioned: ordered something to be made or done for payment
  • verge: on the edge or border, very close to
  • underestimated: thought something was less than it really was
  • embraced: accepted willingly or enthusiastically
  • exposed: revealed, made visible
  • biases: tendencies to see things in a certain way or believe that a person or thing is better or not as good as others
  • limelight: focus of public attention


Brisbane named host of 2032 Olympic Games

Victoria set to host 2026 Comm Games

Celebrations as Women’s World Cup heads our way


  1. Which university commissioned this research?
  2. Which organisation conducted the survey?
  3. How many parents and senior high school students did they question?
  4. Name two of the global sporting events Australia will host over the next decade.
  5. What was the most common sport children participated or were interested in?


1. Brainstorm!
Write a list of as many different jobs in sport or related to sports as you can think of. You are not allowed to include participating in or playing the sport.

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

2. Extension
Design a poster, write the words for a radio advertisement, or create a storyboard for a TV advertisement. The purpose of your ad is to change people’s minds about the importance of the sporting sector. Use the information in the story and your answer to Activity 1 to help you.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Communication Design, Media Studies

Read this!
A headline on an article – or a title on your text – should capture the attention of the audience, telling them to read this now. So choosing the perfect words for a headline or title is very important.

Create three new headlines for this article. Remember, what you write and how you write it will set the pace for the whole text, so make sure it matches.

Read out your headlines to a partner and discuss what the article will be about based on the headline you created. Discuss the tone and mood you set in just your few, short words. Does it do the article justice? Will it capture the audience’s attention the way you hoped? Would you want to read more?

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

Extra Reading in sport