Exclusive: Martin Sheppard on the value of major sporting conventions
responsible for the National Convention on Sport and Physical Activity (NSC) from 11 November to 9 December, the founder and curator of content of the NSC, Martin Sheppard, spoke with Ministry of Sports on the challenges of organizing the event and the role of major sporting conventions in promoting valuable discussions.
The convention will see live virtual group discussions every Thursday leading up to the NSC Prayer in Melbourne on December 9, an in-person panel and networking event featuring Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates, COA CEO Matt Carroll, Paralympics Australia President, Jock O’Callaghan, and others.
Discussing the challenges of holding the event with the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions affecting major live events, as well as some of the topics the convention will focus on, Sheppard said the event has expanded into certain abilities.
“Because we had to adapt, it certainly caused some problems, but it means we were actually able to broaden the agenda to have more people, so we’re really excited about that,” Sheppard said. Ministry of Sports.
“The response from people has been really positive.
“We have around 40 employees with whom we work, from sport, leisure and recreation and their response has been very good.
“It is recognized that during COVID, it was exceptionally difficult for people with the drop in attendance, the lack of registrations for the new seasons, and also the number of volunteers who do not return.
“They are looking for ways, from the national, state to local organization, to know how to solve this problem, so we are building part of it while also looking at the medium and long term.
“We’ve been committed to trying to change the conversations in the industry for a number of years and the way we do that is to go talk to our people and our key thought leaders and get them to address the main challenges and issues.
“When the sports community keeps coming and knocking on the door saying we need it more than anything, we listen to people and try to put an agenda in place to meet what they think the industry needs. .
“We set ourselves up in the five years leading up to COVID by bringing in global leaders and thought leaders to change the way we think or to bounce back from what we’re doing here in Australia…
“We really need to bring these kinds of conversations to the fore, all COVID has done is slow down this process for administrators and governments.
“Now anyone can start breathing again, they’re trying to do two things, survive and rebuild from COVID, and also plan for the next stage of the COVID world over the next two or three years.
“We’re trying to balance a program that deals and supports now for COVID, but also where do you go when you have those 30 seconds in the future,” he said.
Discussing the focus on preparing for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games with key speakers from AOC and Paralympics Australia, Sheppard said: “
“What people think now is that we haven’t had to plan for 10 years, normally we do a quad cycle, so what we do is take our thinking out of the normal politicians’ election cycle or of the major Games cycle.
“It’s completely new to a lot of people in the industry.
“The Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games are all now talking about a 10 + 10 strategy, and it’s about what we need to do differently for future generations, and that’s really exciting for me. …
“We’re also trying to bring local innovators into the equation and I think that will make a difference.
“The conversation we are starting this year will continue into July next year (for NSC 2022) with a focus on the blueprint for the next decade and what we need to do.
“We looked at 10 different countries’ approach to sports strategies, and we took all of the commonalities that influence success and put them into a plan.
“Really, the conversation John Coates and the Oration will have with the panel is to talk about what they think we need to do over the next 10 years,” he said.
Regarding the mixed virtual and in-person event approach with the upcoming convention, Sheppard said leveraging digital assets is critical due to COVID and the ongoing shift in content engagement.
“Our goal this year was to give people flexibility in how they want to interact with the conference,” Sheppard said. Ministry of Sports.
“We took three innovative approaches this year. One is every Thursday from November 11 through Thursday December 9, we will have a live keynote speaker, each on a different theme.
“There’s a panel there to ask questions and in the space that follows we’ll have between six and eight hours of on-demand workshops so people can watch them by the end of June 2022.
“You can have all that access no matter what.
“We also introduced the NSC Academy, where we brought together all of the presentations from the previous conference and where we have over 100 hours of in-depth interviews and insights from people around the world.
“When people sign up this time around, they also have access to it all through June of next year, and every month we’ll wrap up a bunch of new pieces of content.
“It’s kind of like Netflix in the conferencing industry.
“Most important is the opening speech which is the NSC prayer on the afternoon of Thursday, December 9, and if the borders remain as they are, we will have it in person in Melbourne with our panel.
“I hope this can be a reconnection event for key people in the sport, certainly in Melbourne, but hopefully for some interstatees as well,” he said.