Sport and active recreation

Introduction

Sport and Active Recreation (SAR) invests in and facilitates the development of sport and active recreation across the Northern Territory. This is done through a range of activities involving the provision of information, advice, services, programs and funding. SAR is also responsible for representing the Territory’s interests in policy and decision making forums regarding sport and active recreation development and delivery at a national level.

Key SAR activities include:

  • providing support for the delivery of quality sport and active recreation programs and events across urban, regional and remote communities, including governance and management advice and assistance to Northern Territory Peak Sporting Bodies (PSBs), affiliated associations and Active Recreation Organisations (AROs)
  • leading the delivery of talent identification and nationally categorised athlete, coach, official and other sport personnel development programs through the Territory Sports Academy (TSA)
  • management of major sport and active recreation infrastructure, including Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex, the Marrara Indoor Stadium and the Leanyer and Palmerston Water Parks
  • management of the NT Sports Awards held annually to recognise the achievements of Territory athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers
  • administering sport and active recreation grants such as the Grass Roots and Quick Response programs; PSB and ARO annual funding; the Sport Voucher and the Learn to Swim Voucher schemes; and TSA athlete, coach and official scholarships
  • leading the development, coordination and monitoring of sport integrity strategy, policy, processes, programs and resources across the Northern Territory encompassing, but not restricted to, areas such as anti-doping, match-fixing, member protection and inclusion.

Sport Integrity

The Sport Integrity Unit leads the coordination and monitoring of strategy, policy and programs to address the issues of drugs in sport, member protection, safeguarding children and match fixing activities.

Northern Territory Sport Integrity Unit functions

The functions of the Northern Territory Sport Integrity Unit are to:

  • provide information and awareness initiatives that encourage Territorians involved in sport to uphold the principles of fairness, inclusion, respect, responsibility and safety
  • provide advice and work with individual sports to ensure a robust integrity framework is adopted, minimizing opportunities for criminal groups to infiltrate
  • strengthen relationships and cooperation between State and Territory governments, regulators, NT Peak Sporting Bodies (PSBs), law enforcement and other agencies
  • establish and manage the Sport Integrity Network, as a forum through which PSB members share strategic leadership on Territory sport integrity issues
  • develop and manage the Sport Integrity Action Plan, inclusive of the anti-doping education strategy for PSBs.
  • support sport and the wider community by providing online education and resources through the NT Sport Integrity Toolkit
  • undertake research and provide information to support effective approaches to protect the integrity of Territory sport

Northern Territory Sport Integrity Action Plan

The NT Sport Integrity Action Plan PDF (516.6 KB) identifies four key action areas to proactively build the capability of sports in the Territory. It aims to mitigate integrity risks through heightened awareness and enable sports to respond quickly and decisively when such instances occur.

Sport Integrity Toolkit

The Sport Integrity Toolkit contains important information, resources and links to assist athletes, coaches, administrators, clubs and NT Peak Sporting Bodies.

Sport Governance Principles

No matter the size or maturity of the sporting organisation, there is a need for educational and accessible principles to help guide organisations to good governance. There is also a clear need for the Sport Governance Principles to link to education, support and resources to transition theory into practice.

You can read more about sport governance principles on the Sport Australia website.

Contact Us

Further assistance contact Don Boyanton by email at Donald.Boyanton@nt.gov.au or phone 08 8922 6816.


Sport Integrity Toolkit

The Sport Integrity Toolkit contains important information, resources and links to assist athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, clubs, regional sporting associations and NT Peak Sporting Bodies (PSBs).

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Managing conflict at your club

Learn what to do with a subject that takes up way too much time and energy, and sometimes money, for everyone involved.

Read about managing conflicts at the Play by the Rules website.

Member Protection Policy

All sports clubs, regional sporting associations and Peak Sporting Bodies (PSBs) have a responsibility to make sure that their sport is safe, fair and inclusive for everyone involved. They also have legal obligations to prevent and address discrimination, harassment, abuse and other harmful behaviours.

For club committees, a current Member Protection Policy (MPP) is an effective risk management tool that protects against the loss and harm of participants and members. To develop your member protection policy, check with your governing national or state body first. Most sports in Australia have a MPP, as well as child protection policies and codes of conduct, that affiliated clubs and members are bound by.

Once developed, there are several ways you can make members aware and bring your MPP to life:

  • ensure committee members and volunteers commit wholeheartedly to it
  • make it a part of inductions, meetings and training
  • promote the policy and the detail within (eg, codes of conduct) regularly to members, via your newsletters, website and other communication
  • make it widely available.

If your sport doesn’t have a policy, you can download a Play by the Rules MPP template.

Member Protection Information Officers (MPIOs)

Appointing a MPIO can help your organisation deal with complaints in an appropriate and consistent manner. A MPIO listens to complaints and provides information about the person’s rights, responsibilities and options.

MPIOs don’t investigate complaints and it’s a good idea to choose someone who is approachable, accessible and can maintain confidentiality. It is best practice to display the MPIO’s name and contact details on the sporting club, regional sporting association or PSB’s website, so they can be contacted easily and confidentially.

Play by the Rules offers a training course for MPIOs in the following:

  • the MPIO role
  • complaint resolution procedures
  • member protection and the law
  • child protection
  • harassment and discrimination and
  • ethical and practical considerations.

Inclusion and diversity

Inclusion is about ensuring that sport caters for the range of backgrounds, cultures, ages and abilities in the community who may wish to participate in various activities or roles in a club. Being inclusive is really about following best practice for what sport should be so that everyone can get the most out of it.

Diversity broadly includes gender, race, disability, age, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and multi-faith. A good way to think about diversity is to think about your local community. Does your club reflect the diversity of your local community?

Further information:

Child safe environments

It is everybody’s responsibility to implement and maintain child safe environments. We all have a role to play in keeping children safe and promoting well being.

It is good practice to put strategies in place to prevent offenders from gaining access to your organisation and reducing opportunities for abuse. Child safe environment strategies are put in place to prevent and minimise opportunities for child abuse within your organisation, including preventing offenders from gaining access to children.

An important strategy in developing child safe environments is staff development:

  • ensuring that all personnel (both paid and volunteers) understand their mandatory and/or ethical reporting obligations for suspected child abuse and/or neglect
  • ensuring all personnel have a clear understanding of what is acceptable/unacceptable behaviour and know who to contact about concerns they may have
  • organisations working to create child safe environments and strengthen their environment are committed to and understand the importance of children’s safety.

NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect)

Children thrive in communities that are friendly, supportive and connected - and sporting and recreation clubs play a crucial role in building community and creating positive experiences for children.

NAPCAN is a national organisation dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of Australia's children and young people. NAPCAN advocates for child safe policies, research and strategies and provides a range of resources, workshops and training to support the safety and wellbeing of children and young people - within families, sporting clubs and communities.

For more information about NAPCAN activities, programs and resources, and to register for a workshop, please visit the NAPCAN website or contact nt@napcan.org.au.

Further information

Doping refers to the use of prohibited drugs/methods by an athlete to improve sporting performance. Athletes need to be aware, at all times that they cannot just take any drug or medication, or even use certain methods of substance administration to enhance their performance in sport.

The detection of a forbidden substance or method constitutes a direct violation of the doping rules, and the attempt to take, the possession of, and the circulation of doping substances are all regarded as offences.

Sports participants (including athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, clubs, regional sporting associations, sport science and medical practitioners and NT Peak Sporting Bodies (PSBs) engaging in organised sport in Australia are required to comply with anti-doping codes, policies and practices as a condition of their involvement.

Check your substances

GlobalDRO is a mobile-friendly online tool which allows athletes to check their substances against the WADA Prohibited List.

Illicit drugs

The Illicit Drugs in Sport (IDIS) Online Education Program is an Australian government initiative to assist sporting organisations to educate their members of the harms associated with illicit drugs and to combat illicit drug use in all parts of the community. The IDIS program seeks to provide practical tools and strategies to assist athletes, coaches and sports administrators to make appropriate choices when faced with illicit drug issues in their sport.

Take the Illicit Drugs in Sport Online Education Program.

Good Sports Tackling Illegal Drugs program

Funded by the Australian government and coordinated by Good Sports, the Tackling Illegal Drugs program aims to help Australian sports clubs become better prepared to address drug-related issues. Sporting clubs are a snapshot of the larger community. No matter what age, or sport, chances are, somebody at your club has been touched by the issue.

What is it?

Good Sports will work with your club to develop and implement an illegal drugs policy.

The policy is more than just a piece of paper; it’s a chance to educate your members and talk about how your club will deal with any future issues. A policy will set clear standards and help clubs react appropriately in case of an incident. By setting measures in place now, you can help prevent drug-related issues in the future in your club.

For further information please visit the Good Sports website.

Supplements

Supplements are one of the leading causes of failed anti-doping tests in Australia.

ASADA’s long standing advice is that no supplement is safe to use and athletes should not risk their careers by taking a supplement. This is because many supplements are contaminated with substances prohibited in sport, which may not be listed on ingredient labels. However, ASADA recognises that there may be circumstances where medical professionals and sports dieticians recommend supplements, or where athletes use supplements regardless of the risk.

In these circumstances, ASADA’s advice is that athletes should only use supplements which have been screened for prohibited substances by an independent company, such as HASTA or Informed Sport. Supplements screened by these companies cannot offer a 100% guarantee that an athlete will not test positive, but they are significantly less risky than other supplements.

For more information, download the ASADA Clean Sport mobile app, which lists all supplements sold on Australian shelves which have been screened by HASTA or Informed Sport, and provides a risk analysis for other supplements athletes may be considering.

What are the risks?

The supplement industry is poorly regulated, so the ingredient list doesn't always match the product contents. It is not uncommon for banned substances to be added deliberately during the manufacturing process, or added accidentally through contamination. It is for these reasons ASADA is unable to guarantee whether a specific supplement, or batch of a supplement, is safe to use.

Consequences of substance abuse by athletes

Products containing a prohibited substance can result in bans of up to four years for athletes. The presence of a prohibited substance in a supplement may result in an anti-doping rule violation, whether its use was intentional or unintentional. Under the World Anti-Doping Code’s strict liability principle, athletes are ultimately responsible for any substance found in their body, regardless of how it got there.

That means, even if the prohibited substance is not listed on the label of a supplement, if you consume it, you are still responsible. In addition to facing a possible ban from sport, there are some supplements on the market that contain prohibited stimulants which can pose serious health risks for athletes.

ASADA Clean Sport app

ASADA Clean Sport is a mobile app which lists every batch-tested supplement sold on Australian shelves, and gives athletes a way to assess the risk of other products. It is available on Apple and Android phones and tablets.

Match fixing

Match-fixing is defined by Sport Integrity Australia as: ‘irregularly influencing the course or result of a sports event in order to obtain advantage for oneself or for others and to remove all or part of the uncertainty normally associated with sport’. It involves the manipulation of an outcome or contingency by athletes, teams, agents, support staff, referees and officials and venue staff.

It can include the deliberate fixing of the result of a contest, an occurrence or points spread within a contest, deliberate under-performance, withdrawal (also known as ‘tanking’ or ‘manipulation’ and ‘experimenting’), an officials deliberate misapplication of the rules of the contest, interference with the play or playing surface, or abuse of insider information to support a bet placed.

Courtsiding is the practice of transmitting information from sporting events for the purpose of gambling, or of placing bets directly from a sporting event. It arises as a result of the delay between live action and digital television broadcasts.

The issues are:

  • persistent expansion of volume and availability of markets on Australian sports by offshore wagering providers
  • increasing number of markets available on lower leagues/sub-elite sport
  • grooming of athletes and exploitation of insider information
  • athletes continue to engage in behaviours/associations that place them at risk of exploitation.

Tips for sporting organisations:

  • establish rules, policies and sanctions
  • designate a contact/information person
  • be careful handling sensitive inside information
  • undertake regular reviews on your integrity processes
  • keep educating your members.

Tips for all sports people:

  • never bet on your own sport
  • keep educating yourself
  • fixing any part of an event is illegal
  • never put yourself in a position where you could be compromised
  • report any irregular approaches
  • make sure you know what the rules are on betting in your sport and Australia
  • make sure your family and friends know the rules about betting restrictions in your sport.

The National Sports Tribunal (NST) hears and resolves national-level sporting disputes in Australia. They offer a range of dispute resolution options - arbitration, mediation, conciliation and case appraisal - to help national level sporting bodies and their participants resolve disputes efficiently and affordably.

There are 3 divisions:

  • Anti-Doping Division - deals with breaches of the anti-doping rules of a sport.
  • General Division - deals with other disputes under the rules of a sport (including, for example, disputes that might arise under a sport's Member Protection Policy).
  • Appeals Division - deals with appeals from the Anti-Doping or General Divisions, as well as appeals from decisions made by ‘in-house’ sport tribunals.

Please go to National Sports Tribunal website.


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