The launch of the UNSW 2025 Sport Strategy in 2016 was momentous in the way it captured the passion and drive of the UNSW sporting community and delivered a strategy to increase participation, support excellence and strengthen partnerships.
While those foundational elements of the strategy remain of utmost importance, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world irrevocably and sport has not been immune to these changes.
The refreshed strategy – launched this week – acknowledges the changing world we live in and the importance of physical activity for mental wellbeing.
During the many lockdowns that took place across the country, leaving the home was only permitted for three reasons if you were not an essential worker; to buy food, to access medical services and for exercise.
It was also a time when team sports were not on the agenda and the community was compelled to find other ways to stay active and become more creative in the way sport was defined.
UNSW Head of Sport and Local Community Mark Wright is delighted with the way the refresh has embraced the changes of the past two years.
“We are exceptionally proud to launch the refresh of the UNSW 2025 Sport Strategy,” he said.
“A key focus of this refreshed strategy is the recognition that sport in the 21st century encompasses a vast range of experiences and settings – there has been a large growth of social sport, active recreation, fitness and movement.
“Our aim is to encourage our community to reap the benefits of physical activity in ways that are enjoyable and sustainable for each individual.”
Mr Wright also emphasised the importance of the strategy across the University.
“Research shows increased benefits to mental health and wellbeing for those who stay active, by reducing disease, managing stress, increasing academic performance, improving the immune system, and increasing quality of life,” he said.
“With this enhanced focus, UNSW Sport will be able to make even greater contributions to student experience, future student recruitment and alumni engagement.”
Chair of the UNSW Sports Advisory Council Simon Poidevin agreed with this assessment and said it will assist in reactivating the campus.
“The value the UNSW 2025 Sport Strategy brings to campus life in terms of student experience, mental health and wellbeing for students and staff, driving alumni engagement, building a wonderful community and creating a sense of belonging cannot be underestimated,” he said.
“Through this refresh, we in the UNSW Sports Advisory Council are confident these benefits will only increase and allow even more members of our community to flourish through participation in sport and active recreation.”
The refreshed UNSW 2025 Sport Strategy is available to download from the UNSW Sport website.