Research on the benefits of sport and recreation


Sport and recreation builds strongerhealthierhappier, and safer communities across Western Australia.


The Government of Western Australia is committed to supporting the development of a sustainable and diverse sport and recreation system that encourages participation, develops talent and contributes to the health and wellbeing of individuals and groups in our state. As the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, we strongly advocate the benefits of sport and recreation, not only for the physical, but the positive impact on the mental and emotional wellbeing of the community.


The Department prides itself on developing programs and projects in partnership with the community that promote a series of benefits beyond the traditional aspirations of improved health and wellbeing. These include:

  • Stronger and more connected communities;
  • Inclusion of minority social groups;
  • Diversion and education of at-risk youth;
  • Healthy child development and contact with nature;
  • Economic outcomes;
  • Education outcomes;
  • Tourism outcomes; and
  • Environmental outcomes.

It’s our belief that sport and recreation can be a vehicle for positive social change.

Sport and recreation helps to bind families through shared experiences and shared achievements. Through participation, sport helps address anti-social behaviour and can support education. Sport and recreation contributes to economic growth through business investment and employment, and helps sustain the environment through protecting open space and natural areas. It also promotes the use of active modes of transport, such as cycling and walking.

Below is a visual representation of the many ways sport and recreation benefits the people and communities of Western Australia. This graphic and more detailed information on the work of the Department is available in our Annual Report.

30 ways sport and recreation benefits people and communities

Soccer players

Brings people together, providing opportunities for social interaction.

Two men and one woman with hands up

Empowers, inspires and motivates individuals.

Weight scale

Provides work/life balance.

Netball, tennis racquet and tennis ball

Sport and recreation clubs are the hub of community life, especially in the regions.


Helps to sustain the environment through protecting open space and natural areas.

Smiling face

Contributes to higher levels of self-esteem and self-worth.

An open hand

Creates opportunities for, and promotes, volunteering.

Puzzle piece

Provides a vehicle for inclusion, drawing together people of different races, religions and cultures.

Cycling and inline skater

Reduces pollution – promotes use of active modes of transport like walking and cycling.

Basketball ring and backboard

Creates positive alternatives to youth offending, antisocial behaviour and crime.

Person sitting as a desk with a laptop

Healthy workers are more productive and take less sick days.

Two people shaking hands with interconnecting speak bubbles

Contributes to social capital.

Medical cross

Eases pressure on the health system.

Head with cogs

Improves mental health.

Icon of people and presenter with a screen

Kids who participate learn better and are more likely to enjoy school.

Computer screen

Keeps kids away from the TV or computer screen!

Extended family

Binds families and communities through shared experiences.


Can help to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Scales and tape measure

Reduces obesity.


Great opportunities for networking.

Head with light bulb

Contributes to lifelong learning.

Money and arrow pointing upwards

Economic growth through business investment, employment, major events and tourism.

People with cogs

Galvanises communities in times of need.

Person stretching

Tones and strengthens the body.

Person walking dog with tree

Fosters community pride.

Couple high five

Provides a sense of belonging.

Abseiling person

Develops life skills and leadership abilities.

Waterbottle and shoe

Promotes a healthy, active lifestyle.

Open door

Creates employment opportunities.


Helps shape our national character and pride.


Manager, Participation
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries – Sport and Recreation
Telephone 08 9492 9700



01 February 2015


01 February 2017

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