WA Sport and Recreation Online mapped the extent and scope of sporting and recreation organisations (SROs) in Western Australia using the Internet.
Conducted by the Department of Internet Studies, Curtin University, for the Curtin Centre for Sport and Recreation Research in collaboration with the Department of Sport and Recreation WA (DSR), the project found the online presence of WA sport and recreation to be widespread with considerable success having been achieved in a short time span, increasing benefits to members. A large number of SROs demonstrate higher than expected levels of competence in website management, high levels of sustainability, and effective presentation and communication.
Inconsistencies in online use and its effectiveness, however, revealed areas requiring improvement. This included: notably lower effectiveness in regional organisations’ web presence compared to metropolitan areas; online bias towards communicating more effectively with people already involved in the organisation rather than focussing on new members; lower design quality for sites hosted under older approaches; limited engagement with user participation and other forms of Web 2.0 presence; limited use of transactional purposes; and, poor use of Facebook.
The project flagged the clear need for SROs to be provided with targeted support by the WA State Government and DSR, with training in sustainable skills in communications strategy, effective web presence and social media use as a key means to build membership and participation in sport and recreation activity across the board.
Principal Areas of Enquiry:Management and Technology
Lead Researchers:Assoc. Prof. Tama Leaver - Department of Internet Studies, Curtin University
Professor Matthew Allen - Deakin University
Claire Scullin - Department of Sport and Recreation WA
Department of Sport and Recreation WA