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Sporting legend speaks on the influence of parents in sport

Steve Moneghetti

Sporting legend and Australian Sports Commission (ASC) board member, Stephen Moneghetti recently gave an engaging and well-received plenary speech at the inaugural Australian Parent Engagement Conference. Steve highlighted the ASC’s strong interest in working with parents to increase health and wellbeing outcomes for young Australians to 600 delegates from the education, health, community, university and government sectors.

Titled ‘Maximising every child’s potential’, the conference focused on ways to increase the effectiveness of parent engagement strategies.

Key messages from the conference included: ‘Parents are key drivers of their child’s success’; ‘Parents are time-poor and need communication and resources that are flexible, easy-to-find and concise’; and ‘Coaches and administrators should seek to understand the needs and daily life of participants and their families’.

Another conference attendee, ASC Parent and Guardian Advisory Group representative, Amy Quirk (from Australian Rugby Union) noted the “need for more education around the physical and social development opportunities sport can provide, as well as the proven increases in academic performance”. She also noted the importance of sports “tailoring readily available information specifically for parents”.

Besides gathering insights, the conference provided an opportunity to promote the ASC’s Parent Engagement Project - which aims to support positive sporting experiences for children and the development of physical literacy. To better understand parent’s behaviours and attitudes towards sport, the ASC is currently working with researchers to conduct focus testing with diverse groups of parents from across the country, with work due to be completed by the end of August.

The inaugural Parent Engagement Conference was hosted by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) and The Smith Family. Conference details and Steve’s presentation can be viewed by visiting the Australian Parent Engagement Conference website