The Increasing Access to Sport Project is gathering momentum, with preparations underway to commence the trial phase early next year.

The GippSport Community Solutions team has collated and analysed data and feedback from the youth survey, school focus groups and sports forum with local partners, and is now in the final stages of developing a detailed solutions plan addressing identified barriers to sport for people aged 12-18 years in Latrobe City.

In consultation with our research partner, Dr Erica Randle from the Centre for Sport and Social Impact at La Trobe University, the team has identified almost a dozen prospective programs and initiatives to help trial proposed solutions, with a view to piloting several of these ideas in partnership with sporting clubs and leagues and community organisations early in the new year.

Time constraints, travel requirements, social and performance-related pressures and participation costs are among the project’s key areas of focus through this next stage.

One trial looks set to centre on improving the awareness and availability of, and access to, second-hand sports equipment, while another is about implementing a sporting program co-designed by youth for youth participants.

Other options under consideration include a ‘positive coaching’ workshop and analysis of the effectiveness of social sport programs as an alternative pathway to traditional club sport.

Michelle Harris has been joined by Community Sport Planning Officer Damen Francis to assist with the next stage of the project and more information on the solutions trials will be confirmed in the new year.

If you would like to find out more about this project, or discuss piloting a solution with your Latrobe City-based sporting group or organisation, please contact Michelle – – or Damen –