National Sports Convention from 16-18 July 2018 in Melbourne, Australia

The National Sports Convention was founded in 2016. The 2018 edition has been Australasia’s largest community sport and recreation knowledge sharing event, with the key support of the Australian Sports Commission, Sport New Zealand, the Victorian Government, VicHealth, and more than a dozen peak bodies.

The NSC 2018 offered a wide range of conferences with global keynote speakers each morning as well as specialist conference programs to encourage greater discussion and inter-activeness. IAKS President Dr Stefan Kannewischer presented two papers about global trends in the sports and leisure facility industry.

The first day of the event started with two study tours in the Melbourne metro area. One of them was the swimming pool tour featuring three pool facilities. Swimming in Australia is largely dominated by sport-oriented swimming and swimming courses, with aquarobics becoming increasingly popular. Larger pool facilities also feature fun pool elements. Recreation and wellness offers are not very common, especially when compared to Europe. Many swimming pools are integrated into larger sports and leisure schemes that also include sports halls and gyms.

During the convention IAKS President Dr Stefan Kannewischer got to know different representatives from regional organisations. On Tuesday evening, all IAKS members and friends were invited to a networking event with drinks, some experts from New Zealand also joined in.

The positive cooperation with IAKS member Martin Sheppard during the NSC contributed to increase IAKS’ visibility in Australia and New Zealand. The feedback was very encouraging – IAKS even received the first requests for membership – and there is a huge amount of interest in IAKS, the IAKS Congress and the leading trade fair FSB scheduled for 5 to 8 November 2019.

This year the NSC more than doubled in size with 1,465 individual delegates, exhibitors and registered visitors over the two days. 233 delegates came from local/state government, 215 from sport, 71 from peak bodies, 60 from education, and 130 from Belgravia Leisure. The exhibition side attracted 429 exhibitors and expo attendees.

Decision makers where there in force with 122 CEO’s/MD’s and Board/Councillors, 119 Directors and Leadership team members, 321 managers, and 124 team leaders/coordinators.