Grassroots Champions Cheering on the future Team Australia

Last updated on 4 July 2024
Sport is ingrained in Australian culture. Whether that’s supporting a local club, cheering on the CommBank Matildas, or watching elite athletes compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We want to encourage young Australians to participate and champion the Aussie sporting heroes of the future. 
Grassroot champions on the pitch at Allianz Stadium

Australia is preparing to support our athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. However, our new research shows that 34% of surveyed young Australians have asked their parents if they can stop playing sport. Specifically, 27% have made the decision to stop playing by age 15.

Alarmingly, children with a disability are likely to stop playing earlier. In fact, 50% of children with a disability have decided to stop playing sports altogether by the age of 11. The research found one in ten children without a disability and one in four children with a disability feel anxious while playing and are prioritising other activities such as gaming.

Our research shows that most Australian parents believe that it’s important to have children involved in out-of-school sport. However, over half of the parents surveyed said there are two main barriers to their child’s participation. These are the time commitment, along with cost of living, which includes rising membership costs and travel expenses. Competitiveness and accessibility for all kids are also barriers to participation.

Grassroot champions on the pitch at Allianz stadium with Owen Wright

To address the research findings, we’re working with local grassroots sports teams to encourage kids to stay in sport. We want to inspire them to become the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians. We believe that if they can feel the support of the nation, they’ll be more able to visualise their goals and make these dreams happen.

To help with this, we’re giving some young athletes the chance to experience what it’s like to be cheered on by the nation. We’ve invited them to participate in sport at the world-class Allianz Stadium. Despite the grandstands being empty, when a goal is scored or a race is finished, they’ll hear and feel the roar of 45,000 Australians cheering them on with ‘Go Australiaahhh’.

This cheer was recorded with the voices of Olympic and Paralympic athletes like wheelchair sprinter Madi de Rozario, judoka Joshua Katz and diver Nikita Hains. It will offer young athletes the chance to feel what it’s like to compete on the world stage and be cheered on by the nation - just as the athletes will hear at Paris 2024.

Laura Halbert, General Manager, Customer Strategy and Marketing, Allianz Australia, said, “At Allianz, we are passionate about celebrating the unifying power of sport in all Australian communities. Our research shows that the Olympic and Paralympic Movements can help to inspire young Australians to get involved in sport, and we’re proud to use this moment to cheer on the next generation of elite athletes and local sporting legends so they can feel the support of the nation behind them. “

Alongside motivation and being cheered on, the research showed that the following would encourage children to remain in out-of-school sport:

  • More flexibility with financial commitments such as equipment hire
  • A stronger focus on more fitness and fun instead of competition and winning
  • More training for coaches to support children of all abilities and needs 

Dr. Emma Steer, Clinical Psychologist, Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre, has years of experience helping children in sport to navigate psychological barriers such as lack of motivation and self-belief.

“Ensuring children know they have a strong support network around them can be a huge motivation for them to stay in sport.  Seeing their parents and guardians cheer them on, showing pride in their participation and giving words of affirmation are some of the ways Aussie kids can feel supported”.

“As the research finds, there are so many benefits to children of all abilities being involved in sports, such as developing an increased confidence and self-belief and learning the value of teamwork. It’s incredibly beneficial that we keep kids in sport so they can see their full potential”, she explains. 

Grassroot champions on the pitch at Allianz stadium with Owen Wright
Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Insurance Partner

Allianz is proud to be the Worldwide Insurance Partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements from 2021 to 2028

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 ("Allianz"). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

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Pureprofile, an ASX-listed company, conducted an online quantitative survey from May 17th  to May 22nd, 2024, to explore the landscape of out-of-school sports (OOSS) practice among Australian children. The survey targeted 1,007 parents of children aged 5 years to 15 years, a crucial age group for OOSS participation. This included 189 parents of children with disabilities and 818 parents of children without disabilities. The sample was nationally representative, based on the latest ABS data on gender and region.


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