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Sport and Recreation Spatial

Through visual tools and interactive maps, the Sport and Recreation Spatial portal presents spatial data relevant to all levels of the sport and recreation sector in Victoria for analysis, strategic planning, policy formulation and evidence-based decision making - to improve sports participation rates, health outcomes and community connectedness.
 

Sport and Recreation Spatial

Sport and Recreation Spatial - website

Sport and Recreation Spatial is a collaborative program of research between CeRDI and researchers led by Associate Professor Rochelle Eime in the Faculty of Health (FedUni) and the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (Victoria University).

Sport and Recreation Spatial - Map

Sport and Recreation Spatial - map

Sport and Recreation Spatial was a finalist in the 2015 VicHealth Awards and received the 2016 Victorian Sport Awards VicHealth Sport Development Initiative of the Year.

Background

  Sport & Recreation Spatial
   
  Sport and Recreation Spatial
   
  Sport and Recreation Spatial
   

Established in 2012, Sport and Recreation Spatial investigates sport and recreation participation and facilities, and associated health outcomes, to support evidence-based decision making.

Key areas of focus for Sport and Recreation Spatial are:

  • Participation levels and trends
  • Influences on participation
  • Value of sport: the health benefits of participation
  • Places to play: the nexus between facilities and participation

An important aspect of Sport and Recreation Spatial is the integration and interrogation of data about sport and recreation participation, sport and recreation facilities, population demographics and population health from multiple data custodians. This provides sporting organisations, government and industry with a strong evidence base and an increased capacity for research, strategic planning, and development of participation programs and facilities management. This is achieved through:

  • A unique and annually accumulating set of both cross-sectional and longitudinal sport participation data provided by state sporting organisations and other relevant data custodians;
  • A program of research which addresses questions of national and international significance; and
  • A national geographic information system (GIS) for presenting spatial data relevant to all levels of the sport and recreation industry. This resource provides the sport and recreation sector with a vital tool to facilitate research, strategic planning and the development of participation programs and facilities.

From the outset, this project has received wide acclaim, having been described by senior sporting industry figures as ‘revolutionary’ in its presentation of sport and recreation participation data.

The success of this project has been facilitated through collaborations with key industry stakeholders including the peak sporting and recreation organisations VicHealth, the Australian Sports Commission, Sport and Recreation Victoria, VicSport and state and national sporting organisations.

Through this initiative, an extensive range of data sets, including data from national population surveys, sport participation data from sports organisation data and sports facilities data, are enhanced and made visually accessible by the latest spatial GIS technologies. These advances provide the foundation for extensive investigation between facilities, sport and recreation participation and health outcomes.

Sport and Recreation Spatial enables greater investigation into the ‘value of sport’ in terms of participatory health benefits and provides an evidence-base from which to formulate recommendations for the Australian sport and recreation sector.

A program of research has been established to use Sport and Recreation Spatial to harness new knowledge for the sector. Already important understandings about sport and physical activity participation levels, trends and the factors affecting participation in sport and recreation have been generated, with the findings published in peer-reviewed journals.

The Sport and Recreation Spatial project was initially funded from the VicHealth Fellowship secured by Associate Professor Rochelle Eime, a grant from the Australian Sports Commission and support from Federation University Australia and Victoria University.

2015 Vic Health Awards finalist. From left: CeRDIís Associate Professor Helen Thompson and Mr Paul Feely, Dr Jack Harvey and Associate Professor Rochelle Eime (both from FedUni and Victoria University) and Professor Warren Payne (Victoria University).

2015 Vic Health Awards finalist. From left: CeRDI’s Associate Professor Helen Thompson and Mr Paul Feely, Dr Jack Harvey and Associate Professor Rochelle Eime (both from FedUni and Victoria University) and Professor Warren Payne (Victoria University).

Outcomes

The Sport and Recreation Spatial portal enables researchers to investigate the relationships between sports participation, sports facilities and health outcomes.

Industry collaboration has supported the establishment of an extensive collection of national and state-wide data covering areas including sports participation, sport and recreation facilities, population demographics and population health from multiple data custodians. The current collection includes over 4 million sport participant records from 11 leading sports. It is the most extensive database assembled for sports participation rates and sport and recreation facilities for the State of Victoria.

Sport and Recreation Spatial data has been analysed and interrogated for a range of research, planning and policy purposes with key project partners including State Sporting Associations, Sport and Recreation Victoria and VicHealth.

The Sport and Recreation Spatial documentary film elaborates on how the capabilities and application of Sport and Recreation Spatial support industry and inform practice. In addition to the insights about the research offered by Associate Professor Rochelle Eime, insights are presented from industry partners including from Michael Cahill, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria, Amanda Basu, Netball Victoria, and Rayoni Nelson, VicHealth.

To view the documentary film visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGgmDEkrF5Q

Sport and Recreation Spatial was a finalist in the 2015 VicHealth Awards and received the 2016 Victorian Sport Awards VicHealth Sport Development Initiative of the Year.

Photo, L-R: Margot Foster, Chair of Vicsport, Helen Thompson, Rochelle Eime, and Jerril Rechter, CEO of Vichealth at the Victorian Sport Awards

Photo, L-R: Margot Foster, Chair of Vicsport, Helen Thompson, Rochelle Eime, and Jerril Rechter, CEO of Vichealth at the Victorian Sport Awards

Innovation

A core innovation of Sport and Recreation Spatial is its use of web-based GIS technologies to present spatial data relevant to all levels of the sport and recreation sector. This enables research to be undertaken that addresses sector-relevant questions of national and international significance, to undertake strategic planning, facilities management and to develop recreation participation programs.

Technical Features

The primary technologies behind the Sport and Recreation Spatial GIS involve LeafletJS, Bootstrap, PHP, GeoJSON and a hybrid MySQL/PostGIS database backend.

The flexibility of the approach allows for millions of possible layers available to the user via easy to use map filters, and yearly membership data is immediately available after import without requiring publication of countless layers.

A key aim of the Bootstrap interface upgrade was to operate on both desktop and tablet devices, make powerful GIS functionality available to non-GIS users, explain to the user clearly what the map is showing, and make key statistics available at a glance.

Sport and Recreation Spatial - Technical Features
  • Meet our team icon

    TEAM MEMBERS

    Rochelle Eime – Project Manager/Lead Researcher

    Jack Harvey – Senior Statistician
    Melanie Charity – Data management and statistics

    Paul Feely – Lead Developer

    Sudeera Abeywickrema – Development
    Scott Limmer – Development

    Andrew Macleod – GIS data
    Himalaya Singh – GIS data

    Craig Briody – Training/Documentation

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