Victorian Institute of Sport

VIS CEO Abroad

Monday, 08 October 2018

Victorian Institute of Sport Chief Executive Officer, Anne Marie Harrison, recently attended a conference at the Canadian Sport Institute as part of the Association of Sport Performance Centres in Calgary.

An experienced sports administrator and VIS Chief Executive of twelve years, Harrison attends these opportunities in an attempt to further develop the Victorian Institute of Sport and Institutes around the world.

“It is important for a number of reasons; it opens up opportunities for VIS athletes to access other facilities and services internationally, it promotes our role and responsibilities as leaders in high performance sport, provides access to research and information on trends and issues, and encourages collaboration and staff professional development/exchanges,” said Harrison.

As these opportunities are increasingly important for athletes and Institutes to grow, Harrison acknowledges that the hurdles faced are similar around the world, thus working collaboratively is essential to progress.

“Whilst we may operate in different ways and have different resources, so many of the challenges we face and questions we ponder are the same.”

“There are a number of reviews and reforms taking place in many of our competitor nations, so Australia is not alone in undergoing change and disruption.”

“It is important that high performance sport is part of the broader sport ecosystem and can demonstrate its value and benefits to the community.” 

Out of these conferences the sporting world is ever changing which provides excitement toward the next big thing.

“The big issue is e-sports; is it a sport? Should we be exploring the opportunities it may present and are there learnings/technology we can transfer to our sports and athletes?

“The skills required by the gamers are certainly those we are familiar with; reactions/reflexes, endurance, strategy, teamwork, analysis and an ability to perform under pressure.  So if they are not athletes, they certainly are competitors.”

“Amongst the many challenges e-sport developments present is the ethical one of the content and intent of many of the games!”

“Interestingly the IOC hosted an e-sports forum in July and e-sports were a demonstration sport in the 2018 Asian Games and will be a medal event in 2022.  There is a global audience of 380 million growing at 15% annually and prizemoney in 2017 was US$112m,” explains Harrison. 

If the market is growing exponentially, why aren’t Australian sporting codes investing in this space as much as other international sports? 

“22 NBA franchises have a gaming product and the FIFA e-sports World Cup in London was the biggest gaming event in 2018 with 7 million players attempting to qualify. South Korea have established academies to train gamers.”

“Perhaps of greater interest to the traditional high performance sport system will be to see if full body virtual sports games, which immerse players in a full body experience, explodes at the same rate as the established e-sports?”

An exciting time for the sporting world is upon us. 

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