Wednesday 1 August – Guest Speaker, Sofi Lesantis, Head of Insights and Strategy, Sport and Recreation, Victoria.
We were privileged to have an inspirational address from Sofi about the strategies and actions she is leading in Sport and Recreation to achieve an increased proportion of Victorians participating in sport and active recreation.
Sofi set the scene with some disturbing survey data which showed that 60% of children and 80% of adults are not meeting the recommended activity levels for good health. Not surprisingly, 63% of adults and 23% of children are over-weight. A key issue is the dramatic drop in sport and active engagement that occurs at age 14. “Less screen time – more activity” was the message from Sofi.
Melbourne is host to more than 10 major sporting events of national and international reputation. The strategy of Active Victoria is to set the directions and budget to leverage our sporting events to engage the wider community in active pursuits.
The six key directions are:
- Increase the capacity of Victoria’s sport and recreation facilities to meet demand
- Ensure broad and inclusive participation across all ethnic and gender groups.
- Invest in infrastructure that enables active recreation.
- Build system resilience and capacity through leadership and volunteers.
- Invest in state and regional facilities that underpin Victoria’s sporting event calendar
- Develop forward priorities in collaboration with the community.
Sofi finished with details a couple of successes for the portfolio with the Victorian Government committing in the last budget, over $1 Billion investment in major and community sporting facilities, and the establishment of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation. Watch the video, “This Girl Can” on YouTube.