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Auckland sports sector forum calls for collective advocacy

Auckland sports sector forum calls for collective advocacy

More than 100 people across sporting, health and community organisations attended the recent 2017 Auckland Sport Sector Forum, run by Aktive - Auckland Sport & Recreation (Aktive), in association with key strategic partners Sport New Zealand and Auckland Council.

Dr Sarah Sandley, Chief Executive Officer, Aktive says the interactive session facilitated discussions on significant current topics, challenges and opportunities, notably the risk of reduced investment in the sector under Auckland Council’s Long-term Plan.

"This forum highlighted the serious need for strong advocacy by the sector, including club managers, coaches and committees, as well as ‘everyday Aucklanders’," says Dr Sandley. "It is critical for all of us to make our voices heard and get involved in protecting sport and recreation investment under the Long-term Plan."

She adds: "The Aktive Group, comprising Aktive, Harbour Sport, Sport Waitakere, Sport Auckland and Community Leisure Management (CLM), will be leading the charge on collective sector advocacy and we strongly encourage groups and individuals to have their say."

The session covered sector input on the Long-term Plan, discussion around the Auckland Plan and a review of region-wide perspectives based on sector research. It also saw an update of The Auckland Approach to Community Sport and dialogue on sport code involvement in sector-wide facility planning projects.

Attendees were addressed by distinguished guests including Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair of Auckland Council Environment & Community Committee, Auckland Council; Ian Maxwell, Director Community Services, Auckland Council; and Peter Miskimmin, Chief Executive Officer, Sport New Zealand.

Featuring the hashtag #AKLAgenda, Aktive tweeted messages communicated by speakers throughout the event, These included comments from Peter Miskimmin: ‘We need to change our way of thinking to be more demand driven, participant focused’ and ‘Collaboration, working together and sharing knowledge is how we will do it’; alongside "I want to acknowledge the collaboration across Auckland that is now present - it is the way forward" from Councillor Penny Hulse.

"This was a hugely beneficial event for all involved and we are encouraged by the attendance and exceptional engagement," says Dr Sandley. "Central themes were how to increase participation, with a focus on the collaborative Auckland Approach to Community Sport, and the crucial need for collective advocacy to protect investment in the sector.

"Many new connections were made and we look forward to building on this with further opportunities to bring the sector together."


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