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The Crawford Report's ideology and strategies, should and can it be applied to Canada's high performance sport system?
2011 Brock University SPMA Student Research Colloquium (2011)
  • Winston Wing Hong To, The University of Western Ontario

In August 2008, a newly elected Australian Government invested $1 million to have an independent sport panel investigate the state of the Australian sport system and to make recommendations on how the Australian Government can prepare for the challenges it might face in the future in both the community and elite levels of sport. The report was called the "Crawford Report". The report concluded that sport ideology in Australia should focus more on the health and longevity of its citizens through sport and physical activity rather then focus on primarily the performance results of Australian National Teams at the Olympics. The Crawford Report's recommendations to the Australian Government were to direct more resources towards sports that attract high participation and are part of the national ethos (sports such as Rugby League and Union, Australian Rules Football (AFL), and Cricket).

High performance sport is defined as the elite level of sport within a country. In Canada, the Canadian high performance system consists of organizations such as Sport Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and Canadian Sport Centres.

Does the Crawford Report's ideology and strategies fit into the Canadian sport policy, which follows the four pillars of: Participation (to increase the number of Canadians participating in sport); Excellence (improve Canada's international results); Capacity (strength athlete and participant sport based development system); Interaction (coordinated and connected Canadian sport system (Commonwealth Games Canada, 2009).

To answer this, a secondary data analysis methodology was used. The main documents analyzed were the Crawford Report, internet sources and academic journals on the Australian High Performance Program; the Australian Sport System; the Australian Olympic System; the Canadian High Performance Program; and the Canadian Sport System. A content analysis strategy was used to breakdown and analyze these documents.

The research concluded: high participation sports (defined by number of registration) in Canada are Olympic sports, Canadian high performance sports should not be focused on redirecting money but rather determining strategies on how to increase funding, there should be an emphasis by Sport Canada on developing strategies to increase the participation rate of low participation sports, the Crawford Report's strategies and ideology would not significantly enhance the excellence, capacity, and interaction of the Canadian high performance system, Canada can learn several lessons from Australia (ie. the focus on funding and support for sport and physical education from the federal government, the entrenchment of sport and physical education into the Australian's lifestyle).

Publication Date
Spring April 9, 2011
Citation Information
Winston Wing Hong To. "The Crawford Report's ideology and strategies, should and can it be applied to Canada's high performance sport system?" 2011 Brock University SPMA Student Research Colloquium (2011)
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