The Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) is delivered through partnerships between the Australian Sports Commission with Australian sport organisations and their counterpart regional and national sport federations in the Pacific.
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The PSP was launched in 2009 to strengthen sporting cooperation with the Pacific and contribute to the priorities of Australia’s aid program in the region. The program involves a particular focus to support grass roots sport and capability building of national sporting federations, while contributing to identify development outcomes. Five sports are currently supported to deliver activities during the first phase of the PSP: cricket, football, netball, rugby league and rugby union.
This first phase of the PSP has successfully increased participation of Pacific islanders in regular sport activities, with reports indicating as many as 270 000 people participated in PSP activities in 2011–12. The program has also reported positive social development results. For example, the Vanuatu Women’s Island Cricket Project, delivered in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vanuatu Ministry of Health, led to many participants recording positive changes in key health parameters. Other results include high levels of participation of women and girls, increased inclusion of people with disability in mainstream settings and improved leadership attributes amongst young men, women and girls. The program also includes the support and improvement of governance and management in many national sports federations across the region.
A strong response from sports to be involved in the PSP and a growing recognition of the potential of sport to contribute to Australia’s aid program has resulted in the Australian Government extending PSP to 2017.
The objectives of the PSP 2013-17 are to:
- Increase levels of regular participation of Pacific islanders in quality sport activities.
- Improve health-related behaviours of Pacific islanders which impact on Non Communicable Disease risk factors, focusing on increasing levels of physical activity.
- Improve attitudes towards and increased inclusion of people with disability in Pacific communities.
The Australian Sports Commission has released the Pacific Sports Partnerships 2013-17 as a competitive grants program, open to all Australian Sports Commission funded and recognised sports.