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VU, Sport Australia Hall of Fame and industry elites on the future of sport

by Frances Atkinson 21 May 23:57 PDT 26 May 2020
Australian Sailing Royalty - John Bertrand AO and Iain Murray AO at the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships © John Curnow

With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing all sport, from grassroots games to elite competitions, to a grinding halt we need to look at how we bring it back in these new and unprecedented times.

On Tuesday, 26 May (3.30-5pm), sports administrators and industry leaders will come together for the annual National Sport Integrity Forum: Return to Sport: Risks, Rewards, Opportunities and Challenges.

This fifth forum (via Zoom webinar) is an opportunity for Victoria University and its industry partners, Sport Australia Hall of Fame, the Australian Institute of Sport and Sportscover, to meet with leaders at the forefront of the sport industry and discuss the moral, legal and ethical issues related to playing and spectating in the wake of COVID-19.

Forum facilitator VU's Professor Hans Westerbeek says "I have no doubt that sport will return to community playing fields and stadiums with renewed strength. As a matter of fact, I believe that demand for community delivered sport will increase as a result of government messaging about the importance of exercising and staying active during restrictions. The question is, how will and can sport return stronger to ensure it is more fail proof against extreme external shocks such as a pandemic?"

As social distancing measures begin to lift, sport will start the complex journey back to centre stage. But what will the return to healthy activity, community participation and elite sport look like in a post-pandemic world?

Iconic sporting legend John Bertrand AO, Chairman of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame says, "How will sport look after this pandemic, with the incredible disruption within our society? There will be rapid changes. In particular, we have entered a new world of broadcasting both with traditional media and online streaming. With great change, comes great opportunity."

National Sport Integrity Forum: Return to Sport: Risks, Rewards, Opportunities and Challenges forum panellists include:

  • Dr David Hughes, Chief Medical Officer, Australian Institute of Sport
  • Leigh Russell, Chief Executive Officer, Swimming Australia
  • Craig Tiley, Chief Executive Officer, Tennis Australia
  • David Sharpe APM OAM, Chief Executive Officer, Sports Integrity Australia
  • Lynne Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Paralympics Australia
  • Wayne Pearce OAM, Commissioner, ARL
To arrange interviews with Professor Hans Westerbeek, Mr John Bertrand AO and Dr David Hughes contact Frances Atkinson, Media Advisor, Victoria University on 0435 960 793. To attend the webinar, email:

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