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Advance Australia Fair-ly. National Sport Integrity Forum set to debate the value of fair play

Australia is a country of sports lovers; we love nothing more than seeing our national heroes raising the cup or adorned in gold. But what price are we willing to pay for success?

Where is the balance between playing hard but fair and going over the line to win at any cost?

These are the questions that will be explored at the upcoming National Sport Integrity Forum: Winning at any cost, the National Debate on the opening night of the National Sports Convention in Melbourne on Monday 16 July 2018.

The discussion comes at a fitting time when the nation ponders the value of fair play as the pressure and incentives to succeed continue to tempt athletes, coaches, administrators and managers to do whatever it takes to achieve glory.

Following on from two highly successful Integrity in Sport Forums in 2014 and 2016, Victoria University and The Sport Australia Hall of Fame have partnered with the Australian Sports Commission for the third edition of this biennial forum set to tackle the issues of integrity and fair play with an experienced and compelling panel of national and international experts.

Facilitated by journalist Tracey Holmes, the panel of experts will feature:

  • Kate Palmer – Chief Executive Officer, Australian Sports Commission.
  • David Howman – Chair of the Athletics Integrity Unit (IAAF), member of the independent panel for the Federal Government instigated review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements as part of the development of the National Sport Plan and former head of WADA
  • Steve Hooker – Australian Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission Chair, Sport Australia Hall of Fame Member and 2008 Olympic Gold medallist (pole vault)
  • Mick Warner – Herald Sun journalist
  • Ann West – Head of Integrity & Compliance, Tennis Australia

The forum is set to bring together over 300 of Australia’s sports and community leaders including presidents, chairs, and CEO’s, local government and regional sports assemblies, integrity officers, elite and club athletes, facility owners and operators.

Palmer, appointed as the Australian Sports Commission’s Chief Executive Officer in late 2016, reiterates the Australian Government’s belief that integrity arrangements are paramount to the effective performance of any sporting organisation.

“The only way to truly win, is to win with integrity,” Palmer said.

“Victory is an undeniable part of elite sporting success, but the impact of integrity issues on sporting organisations and athletes cannot be under-estimated.

“Integrity matters because it affects confidence and trust, which can have far greater results than the outcome of any single match, race or sporting event.

“The ASC expects Australian sports and athletes to uphold the highest standards of integrity and we will continue to do our best to support them in creating fairer, safer and more inclusive sporting environments.”

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chairman John Bertrand AO said he’s pleased to present a forum that will set the agenda for the national dialogue around integrity in sport.

“This forum will be the perfect stage to deliberate on the current state of the spirit of sport and hopefully find some clarity around the issues that have dominated events.”

“We certainly won’t be afraid to shy away from the tough questions and we will have an honest and robust debate from the leaders of sport in our country.”

Victoria University Pro-Vice Chancellor (sport strategy) Professor Hans Westerbeek said the forum is central to the whole-of-industry approach in sport integrity, so that Australians retain their trust in the value and importance of sport.

“Australia’s sport leaders will discuss what constitutes fair play, when boundaries are overstepped, and debate how the current disjointed approach to integrity in sport that we currently have in Australia can be aligned and improved.”

“The caliber of panelists we’ve been able to bring together is a testament to how important Australian sport feels about these issues, and I can’t wait to hear the diverse opinions and thoughts they’ll bring to the discussion,” Westerbeek added.

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame, Victoria University and the Australian Sports Commission present

National Sport Integrity Forum: Winning at any cost, the National Debate

Date: Monday 16 July 2018
Time: 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre


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