20 APRIL 2020


Local sport to lose up to $41m and 660 jobs due to COVID-19

State Sporting Associations will lose up to $41 million in revenue and more than 660 jobs are expected to be lost by the start of May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A survey by SportWest, the peak industry body for sport in Western Australia, showed State Sporting Associations were expecting a 55 per cent reduction (246 jobs) in their full-time workforce and a 72 per cent cut (415 jobs) in casual staff by the start of May.

Combined revenue loses of up to 52 per cent were forecast for winter community sport.

Twenty State Sporting Associations were forecasting losses of more than $100,000. Seven state sports associations expected losses in excess of $1 million.

The survey results reflect information provided by State Sporting Associations and does not include the further impacts on community associations and clubs, which would see an even greater human and financial contraction.

SportWest chief executive Rob Thompson said while the major national sports competitions were dominating the media headlines, the COVID-19 pandemic was having a devastating impact on local community sport.

"These are vital people and funds that contribute to sport in communities across Western Australia," Mr Thompson said.

"Sport will undoubtedly play a critical role in re-connecting people in communities across WA, and we now have a much clearer understanding of the impact and what might help community sport in recovering.

"If the current conditions go on for longer, then logically the impacts grow. We must ensure the sports community remains connected as we prepare for the Government signals for a staged return both in metropolitan and regional areas."

The latest impact information from the sport sector comes as a number of traditional winter sports collaborate closely to find innovative ways to survive the impact of COVID-19 and emerge from the challenge.

"We look forward to Western Australians embracing their local sporting clubs as a place to re-connect and in the meantime encourage WA sport taking a collective approach to meeting the challenges," Mr Thompson said.

The latest SportWest survey follows a survey of members last month, which outlined the following impacts to date for winter sport:

  •        735,812 participants impacted (players, coaches, officials).
  •        118,827 administrators and volunteers.
  •        40,500 matches cancelled or postponed.
  •        1,560 community sport competitions cancelled or postponed. 


More Information:
Rob Thompson
Ph: 0400 237 079
SportWest is the peak industry body for sport in Western Australia. SportWest exists to promote, strengthen and advocate for sport in Western Australia.

SportWest has more than 125 members, including most of the State Sporting Associations and national sports clubs and franchises in Western Australia.

SportWest is the convener of the prestigious RAC SportWest Awards.