ASTN Board Member Natalie Cook OLY looking forward to Brisbane 2032
On behalf of the team at Australian Sports Technologies Network, we wish to congratulate the Queensland Government and all Australian key stakeholders involved in the successful candidacy to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games in Brisbane, Gold Coast and South-East Queensland. In particular, we are deeply proud of ASTN Queensland Board member – Natalie Cook OLY – congratulations on your teams hard work, belief in making this once-in-a-lifetime vision a reality. Now the hard work begins not just to 2032 – but the legacy beyond to ensure the transformational impact of Queensland is truly fulfilled from 2042 and far beyond.
Creating a legacy for the New Sports Economy of Queensland
ASTN began working in the background to build the ecosystem for the Queensland since 2018.
- In 2018, ASTN hosted at Sport Accord Conference on the Gold Coast the startup competition for Australia’s most impressive sports technology company in partnership with the Queensland Government and AusTrade.
- In 2020, partnership with SportsTechWorldSeries (STWS) and Tourism Events Queensland (TEQ), we felt the move of the Australian Sports Technology Conference to Queensland from 2021-2023 would help build the Queensland ecosystem for Sports Innovation would support the Olympic legacy.
- In 2021 this year, we’ve been running many meetups and networking events (Queensland Sports Innovation Network) that have been strongly attended across Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
- ASTN has a Queensland Advisory Council for Sports Innovation, that includes leaders of high-performance industry, business of sport, technology and artificial intelligence.
- ASTN has submitted research, insights, publications and world’s best practice on the “Future of SportsTech 2032” that will hopefully continue to help Queensland New Sports Economy grow to become world’s best practice.
There are 10 reasons why ASTN believe Australia can create the “Global Cluster of Sports Innovation” on the back of the Queensland’s 2032 Summer Olympic bid:
- Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Winning the Olympics is about so much more than just a 1-month world-class sporting event and the 100,000 volunteer and official jobs that comes with hosting every Olympics. Everything from facilities, technology innovations, health and healthcare improvements, more active living, tourism and – Queensland and Australia will benefit. Expect that trade, exports and internationalisation will play a major role in delivering on this promise. Australia is already a world-leader, this is about going from very good to great and inspirational.
- The “Together” Olympics of 2032
Being awarded to host the 2032 Olympics means that Australia is perfectly positioned to become the world’s “Global Cluster of Sports Innovation” along the East Coast of Australia – Victoria, NSW, ACT and Queensland. Victoria is already recognized as the largest density of “Sports Innovation & Sports Tech” companies in the world per capita (180 companies, population 6 million) and currently 500+ companies exist across the East Coast (population of 16 million Australians). Over the past 2 years, ASTN Board Members Natalie Cook with support by John Persico have organised many sportstech initiatives and community events which provide a basis for further transformational programs and government-led initiatives by 2032 and beyond. Combined, these initiatives will make the “Global Cluster of Sports Innovation” along the East coast a reality by 2032 and Australia can become the world’s #1 platform for sports technology and sports innovation. Our belief is that the legacy of the Sydney Olympics 2000 was tremendous physical infrastructure and facilities. Following Brisbane 2032, people will want to learn from Australia’s “sports innovation network” which is undoubtedly going to be the world-leader. United, collaborative, open innovation will lead the way.
- Power of Technology and Digitization
Obviously, the 2032 Olympics will help improve traditional road, rail and infrastructure connect Queensland is immensely beneficial for all of Australia. What is less obvious, is the “Digital Infrastructure” – the digitization of buildings and property, youth sports and grassroots facilities, Esports and digital fitness, allied health and more. Not only Queenslanders will be more digital and connected than ever – as echoed by the 2033 Legacy piece by the Committee for Brisbane. This will likely extend to other industries too; including Agtech, PropTech and more.
- Major Sporting Events in Australia
Australia is home to many of the world’s leading sports events over the next decade – the 2022 FIBA Basketball World Cup, 2023 FIFA Womens’ World Cup, 2027 Netball WorldCup and potentially more. Major sports events are an important way to attract tourism, jobs and build global trade. Queensland will no doubt attract international investment as a result of the Olympic 2032 success, as will other States across Australia.
- Asia looking to Queensland and Australia for Sports, Fitness, Health
Asia will be 60% of the world’s gross domestic product and 63% of the world’s population by 2032 (World Economic Forum). Queensland is located at a centre point to the Asia region. Asia will be one of the most important trade partners of Australia for Sports, Media, Broadcast, Wagering & Betting, Talent Identification, Artificial Intelligence, Medical, Allied Health and Wearables – we are only a small country (25 million) – but are perfectly positioned to be the centrepiece of the Asia region with our advanced innovations in sports technology.
- Women in Sport, Diversity and Inclusion
Queensland will be a pioneer in the “Women in Sport”. Already, Australia has led the way with pay equality, diversity and inclusion in sports. Queensland Government is already one of the most gender-empowering governments with women in senior leadership roles across most departments. Indigenous sports athletes are among Australia’s most talented – over 10% of the AFL and NRL leagues are indigenous athletes. Queensland will lead the way on the programs and talent programs that will drive both elite sports and participation in active living.
- Talent Identification
Queensland is becoming a world-leader in Youth Talent Identification by 2032 (as evidenced in the swimming results at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!). Under the leadership of the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) and with recent additional funding support – Queensland will pioneer the latest-advancements in talent identification, everything from computer vision, real-time tracking, athlete tracking, neurological innovations, genomics and more. Safe to say, by the time Queensland 2032 comes around, both Queensland and Australia will have one of the most sophisticated talent identification and talent transfer programs in the world which should absolutely lead to Olympic and World Championship high performance and physical mobility for the generation ahead.
- Stadiums and Venues
With Stadiums Queensland and other leading facilities, Queensland sports and entertainment innovations will excite in the coming years. Expect the $1 billion GABBA redevelopment will be a world-class cornerstone.
- Regional and Rural communities
Queensland is the most decentralised of all the mainland states in Australia, with 49% of the population living in the capital city, compared with 68% in other states. Entrepreneurial Skills development must be developed across Queensland and will be a major beneficiary of the Sports, Health, Fitness and Welllness Innovation & Technology renaissance with spill-over even into tourism. Building skills capability also provides pathways for industry and workforce participation in the new networked economy.
- Startup and Scale-Up Ecosystem in Queensland
One of the things that people often ignore in assessing and measuring legacy is the importance of sports startups and grassroots communities. Queensland is developing a brilliant local ecosystem, fuelled by some government and private-sector leadership. Some of the recent announcements (like the ActiveKIT grants) and future industry innovations will only accelerate this progress, and with a number of world-leading universities (e.g. Griffith University, Bond University, Queensland University, Queensland University of Technology, etc). Fast scaling companies originating in sports also can develop the capability for knowledge diffusion into fitness, wellness and digital health. Furthermore, export-accelerating companies can even translate technologies into adjacent industries, like health, occupational safety or even defense and ultimately create the potential to grow into $50m to $100m businesses through investment or acquisitions.