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The Value of Sport: Maximising Opportunities in the Commonwealth


6 Apr

09:00 AM -

02:30 PM


Commonwealth House
Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach
Gold Coast, Queensland

Getting to Commonwealth House

Event Details

** Registrations are now closed  **

The promise of sport for communities, cities, nations and even institutions is profound. Often referred to as the universal language, sport has a unique capacity to connect us to each other and the wider world. It is a powerful tool for social inclusion and cohesion, and creates opportunities for investing in community and developing trading links. Sporting events like the Commonwealth Games can showcase global conversations on issues that matter – from understanding difference to addressing human rights or dealing with climate change. They provide the ultimate platform for promoting our shared peace and prosperity. Yet too often, this wider promise of sport is overlooked or unrealised.

Set against the backdrop of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Value of Sport participants will be challenged to consider how we might engage more effectively with the promise of sport to maximise opportunities for all. This event will bring government, academic, business and sporting perspectives together to explore the value, power and influence of sport beyond the playing field.

The Value of Sport event will be comprised of the following sessions:

Welcome Remarks:

Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General will provide opening remarks.

3rd Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development – ‘Sport pays for itself in the Commonwealth’

Creating jobs, boosting economic links and improving social returns can come from investing in sport. Increasing trade and investment opportunities from hosting major sport events. Improving health and well-being   from getting more people physically active through sport. Building stronger diplomatic relations and people to people connections from sporting links between countries. Getting communities together through inclusive sporting activity. The list goes on.

Are these returns enough to say that investment in sport pays for itself in the Commonwealth? Is sport a cost effective investment or are there better ways for governments and business to achieve these objectives? Is a return on investment from sport automatic, or are specific policies, strategies and programmes needed to maximise returns? Do all members of the community benefit from current approaches to investing in sport, or are changes required to protect and promote the rights of all in sport?

As the leading global discussion on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the 3rd Commonwealth Debate is set to be the most engaging yet.

Panellists in this session will include:
• The Hon. Fortuna Belrose (Minister of Culture and Local Government, St Lucia)
• Matelita Vuakoso (Community leader in the ‘Just Play’ programme of the Oceania Football Confederation and member of the Fijian National Football Team)
• Fabrizio Carmignani (Dean – Academic, Griffith Business School)
• Shantelle Thompson (Two time ju-jitsu world champion)
• Ruth Maphorisa (Co-Chair, International Working Group on Women and Sport, Director of Public Service for the Government of Botswana)

Morning Tea and Networking

Sport as a Soft Power Asset

Sports diplomacy is an increasingly important aspect of diplomatic practice and a growing part of the global sports industry. Sport is a universal language and plays a unique role in shaping and showcasing Australia’s identity, values and culture. The values of sport—competition, teamwork and fair play—help build trust between countries and bring people together. For Australia, sport is a soft power asset.

The Australian Sports Diplomacy Strategy 2015-18 aims to maximise the soft power of sport, through people-to-people links, as well as development, cultural, trade, investment, education and tourism opportunities. Sports diplomacy provides a practical opportunity to inform, engage and influence key demographics, particularly youth, emerging leaders and women and girls.

Moderated by Tracey Holmes, ABC journalist and sports commentator, this panel brings together a range of experts to explore how sport can play a role in enhancing Australia’s place on the world stage, while expanding people-to-people connections and promoting better outcomes for communities and people, especially in our own region.

Lunch and Networking

Trade 2018: Showcasing the Value of Sport

The international Queens Baton Relay (QBR) activities, as part of the Trade 2018 program, provide an interesting case study in to sports diplomacy across the Commonwealth.  New policy and diplomatic outcomes created through successful collaboration between Games stakeholders will be showcased.

Reflecting a program partnership spanning three tiers of government, leaders of Queensland and the Gold Coast will join a High Commission representative to describe from personal experience how Trade 2018 international QBR activations have been successful in driving outcomes for official and business engagement.  Hear first-hand how using a major sporting event can drive sports diplomacy to effectively support trade and investment goals.

The Value of Sport event will culminate with the formal continuation of a successful Commonwealth partnership delivered through the vehicle of sport.  Guests will witness the agreement to this unique ongoing partnership between Papua New Guinea and the City of Gold Coast.

Who should attend?

• Commonwealth Games Associations leaders and officials
• Diplomats and foreign policy makers
• National, state and local sporting organisations
• Sport for development organisations
• Sport business community and relevant industry groups
• Academics and researchers in sport, international relations and international development

Event Partners


Thank you to all VIPs, presenters, delegates and guests for participating in the Games Time Trade & Investment Program in April 2018.

To continue exploring trade and investment opportunities in Queensland, please visit Trade2018.com or contact the team via trade2018@ditid.qld.gov.au.


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