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Blueprint Pathways Reference Group updates

The Reference Group meet with key stakeholders from across the sport and recreation industry. While the Reference Group is not a decision-making body, members will provide direction, expert advice and encourage their networks to become involved with consultation opportunities.

Monthly updates

  • The second Action Plan of Activate! Queensland – Accelerate 2022-2025, commits to enhancing pathways for Queensland’s athletes, coaches and officials, including through development and delivery of a Pathways Blueprint to strengthen pathways for all Queenslanders.

    The Pathways Blueprint will provide an overarching framework to drive a coordinated and connected pathway system across the government, education and sport and recreation sectors to support developing talent and encourage lifelong participation.  The Reference Group was established to enable co-design of the Blueprint, providing a platform for connection and discussion and ensure direct links with Industry.

    The broad aims of the project include to:

    • acknowledge existing gaps and imbalances in the system and identify opportunities to enhance the pathway environment; and
    • inform future practices and processes of the sport and recreation industry and the future design of targeted and tailored solutions.

    The second Reference Group meeting was held on 13 April 2023.

    Project consultants Gemba provided an overview of the literature review and industry wide consultation that has now been completed.  This included:

    • A literature review of 70+ documents.  A key finding was that most sporting pathway frameworks had a high-performance hyperfocus and placed insufficient focus on retention and non high-performance outcomes.
    • Community consultation forums with 96 targeted attendees including representatives from councils, clubs and associations, schools and parents.
    • Individual interviews with 15 targeted state and/or national level organisations; and a
    • Public survey with 608 respondents

    Using the insights gleaned from the consultation, combined with the literature review findings, Gemba have identified four key problems (and accompanying recommendations) to solve in the Queensland sport and recreation pathway system. These key problems are:  Equity and Opportunity; Participant Talent and Skills Development; Lifelong Participation; and Coordination and Collaboration.

    The Reference Group were asked to identify the top 2 priorities (at a whole of system level) to address each key problem.  The following are the highest priorities gleaned from the Reference Group members:

    Equity and Opportunity

    1. Lack of truly inclusive pathways, programs and facilities
    2. Cost of participation;
      1. Regional equity and access; and
      2. Equal access to quality infrastructure (were equal second under this problem area).

    Participant Talent and Skills Development

    1. Tension between participation and talent development outcomes
    2. Competition between sports for athletes and talent at early stages; and

    Significant workload and pressure on young participants (were equal second under this problem area)

    Lifelong Participation

    1. Lack of pathway opportunities for non-athletes for example coaches and officials
    2. Limited opportunities for life-long participation no matter the age or ability

    Coordination and Collaboration

    1. Fragmentation between school and club pathway
    2. Lack of collaboration between sporting bodies; and

    Volunteer and sports administration burnout (were equal second under this problem area).

    These results will be considered during the first stage development of the overarching Pathways Framework and future initiatives.

    Gemba’s draft report is currently being reviewed by the Department and the Reference Group with feedback to be provided to Gemba late April.

    The next Reference Group meeting will occur once the final report has been presented and the departmental working group has been established.

  • The first Reference Group meeting has been held with key stakeholders from across the sport and recreation industry. While the Reference Group is not a decision-making body, members will provide direction, expert advice and encourage their networks to become involved with consultation opportunities.

    Project consultants, Gemba, provided an overview of their literature review to explore and understand best practice and summarised gaps/challenges in the sporting pathways landscape. Existing national and international pathway frameworks and approaches have been examined with key themes/commonalities and gaps being identified across the documents. These include:

    • high performance hyperfocus
    • poor retention strategies
    • lack of alternative pathways
    • lack of recognition of other critical enablers
    • limited inclusivity considerations
    • influence of parents on junior participation.

    Feedback from the Reference Group was collated and encompassed the following points requiring further exploration:

    • Definitions will be critical to clarify the focus of the project, determine the issues and what success looks like.  Definitions need to align with those currently used nationally.
    • Inclusion of marginalised groups, including people with an acquired disability, into any developed framework.
    • Ensuring recreation is considered in the development of the framework.
    • Ensuring coaches, officials and administrators are considered within the pathway.
    • Consideration of ease of movement for participants between different sports as well as transitioning from rehab into sport.
    • Cost of sport as you travel along the pathway to semi-elite and elite sport.
    • While parents have a major impact upon junior participants’ sport journey, the influence of siblings for an individual’s activity selection should not be underestimated.

    The key findings will be supplemented by industry and community consultation. The Reference Group will promote a mass survey throughout their networks to ensure a wide cross section of voices and opinions are heard and can inform the development of the Pathway Blueprint and future initiatives.

    The next meeting will occur once consultation has finished, and the findings are ready for consideration.



Last updated: 25 Jul 2023