The Australian sport system and its stakeholders: Development of cooperative relationships

Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Sotiriadou, K. (2009). The Australian sport system and its stakeholders: Development of cooperative relationships. Sport in society: Cultures, commerce, media, politics, 12(7), 842-860.

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2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1106; 1801

© Copyright Kalliopi (Popi) Sotiriadou, 2009.


The Australian sport system arrested its unrelenting decline in the 1970s to become a model of best practice perplexes many countries. This paper aims to give an insight into the way the system was transformed and became successful. The paper reviews the decline, and then the evolution and devolution of the system, and analyses the stakeholders involved, and the inter relationships developed to achieve success. The study is based on a document analysis examining 74 annual reports from 35 national sporting organizations over a period of four years, before and after the Sydney Olympic Games. The results of the study show that in the face of financial instability and an over-reliance on government funding, sport stakeholders sought alternative sources of income, amalgamated or worked in collaboration with other stakeholders, and/or opted for intra-organizational cooperation. The sport system in Australia has proven resilient and able to adapt to an ever-changing environment via the cooperation of its stakeholders and their willingness to work together towards a common goal.

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