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The Agency's Performance

Agency Response to COVID-19

Agency COVID-19 Response Initiative

Parties Involved in Initiative

Parties Benefitted by Initiative


COVID-19 Framework


SA Health 


Transition Committee

Developed a COVID-19 Framework for sport and recreation to help assist other key government stakeholders understand the recreation, sport and racing operating environments.

COVID-19 Workshop

ORSR + SA Health

Sector, SSO, Clubs, LGAs

Hosted a COVID-19 Workshop for the sport and recreation sector on 15 April 2021. Presentation delivered by Deputy Chief Health Officer (Dr Chris Lease). Attended by 52 representatives.

Ministerial Webinars to Sector


Sector, SSO, Clubs, LGAs

The Minister facilitated 11 webinars with the sport and recreation sector to update them on the COVID-19 situation at the time. Sector educated on COVID-19 Emergency Management Directions.

Active Club 

Club Reboot Round



Allocated an additional $2.495 million in funding to 1,236 recreation, sport and racing clubs across South Australia through the government’s ‘Club Reboot Round’. Clubs were provided funding for equipment that could assist them to rebuild from the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

Rent Relief


Recreation, Sport or Community Tenants

Provided $85,571 rent relief for 18 not-for-profit tenants of the Minister’s venues.

COVID Hotline + Sector Assistance Virtual Network


Sector, SSO, Clubs, LGAs

Responded to 800+ questions or queries about the COVID-19 requirements. Organised a Sector Assistance Virtual Network with 21 organisations represented to assist the sector. 

‘Return to Sport’ Campaign

ORSR + Inclusive Sport SA

Sector, SSO, Clubs, LGAs

Produced a ‘Return to Sport’ Campaign video to ensure the sector and the general public understood health and hygiene protocols during the early and critical stages of returning to sport for the South Australian community. Also aided the development and submission of 61 Return-to-Sport Plans.

Mobilisation of Staff



Mobilised 2.7 per cent of the Agency’s available FTE at a cost of $53,184 to assist in contact tracing and other project management activities in support of the SA Government’s COVID-19 response.

Agency Contribution to Whole-of-Government Objectives

Key Objective

Agency’s Contribution

Better services

Major strategy documents

The Agency launched the Strategic Plan 2021–25 on 15 April 2021 and identified the key priority areas and strategies for the near future. The Plan is complemented by a detailed Corporate Plan identifying the specific programs and projects to be delivered under the Plan.

Game On: Getting South Australians Moving

The Agency’s implementation commenced from 1 July 2020 and includes the following activities:

  • Across-Government Committee formed to oversee multi-agency delivery against the plan.
  • Two Wellbeing Hubs developed in partnerships with Wellbeing SA and local government (City of Playford, Naracoorte Lucindale Council).
  • Contributed to the Adelaide 100 Walking Loop in partnership with Wellbeing SA and Walking SA.
  • Public Health Partnership Authority (PHPA) Agreement commenced to create more opportunities for collaboration with Wellbeing SA through healthy, physically active communities.
  • Enhanced the Premier’s be active Challenge in partnership with the Department of Education.
  • Partnership (including naming rights) with the Game On Corporate Cup commenced in partnership with The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation South Australia Branch (ACHPER SA).
  • Developed an Engagement and Communication Plan for Game On.

State Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Plan (SSRIP)

  • The Marshall Liberal Government allocated $160 million in the 2020–21 State Budget to deliver key projects identified in the Plan.

Improving water safety

Water Safety for Children

12,190 children (aged 5–14 years) increased their water safety knowledge through the VACSWIM Program across 21 metro and 92 regional locations. This formed a 5 per cent increase in participants from the previous year.

The Agency undertook a review, informed by state-wide community consultation, on the future delivery model of the VACSWIM program.

Reviewing Agency functions

The Agency has undertaken (or has commenced) reviews of:

  • The Sports Vouchers scheme and provided options for the expansion of the program. 
  • Methods for SASI to increase its public visibility and transparency and improve allied health and performance services.
  • The Grants Programs and subsequently commenced implementation of the review recommendations. $2.3 million Partnership Program funding launched, with 19 successful organisations funded.
  • The STARCLUB Field Officer Program.

Regional Sports Academies.

Business cases under consideration

The Agency considered (or is considering) the following significant business case(s), white papers or proposals for new initiatives, including:

  • Creating vibrant open spaces for movement, play and social connections through temporary street closures; it has implemented pilots in four local government areas (LGAs).
  • Four new basketball courts to be constructed at Wayville Showgrounds creating a total seven court facility to be the new home for Basketball in South Australia. The stadium will be capable of hosing state and national tournaments and carnivals. 

An unsolicited proposal from Cardijn College to develop a sports stadium and expanded school facilities on land under the ownership of the Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing at Noarlunga.

Planning and design of major sporting facilities and upgrades

The Minister released the State Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Plan: 2020–2040 in November 2020 identifying priority infrastructure projects for the sector. As a result, the government allocated $204 million in the FY2020/21 State Budget to deliver key projects including Stage 2 Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, SASI Development, Thebarton Oval upgrade, SA Athletics Stadium upgrade and a Netball SA Stadium upgrade.

Planning support for community sporting facilities and upgrades

The Agency has undertaken a Community Infrastructure Planning Model Project during the reporting period to model the infrastructure planning and investment for 14 sports using their supply-and-demand data in partnership with ActiveXchange to inform the development of the State Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Plan V2.0.

High-performance tools

The Agency has participated in the development of protocols to improve high-performance outcomes, including:

  • Rowing - analysis and quantification of boat rigging in relation to different individual physiologies.
  • Heat acclimation – including:
    1. Longitudinal haematological responses to training load and heat acclimation.
    2. Mitochondrial adaptation to heat stress.
    3. Effects of active vs passive heat stress on exercise-induced cellular signalling in skeletal muscle.

Central and peripheral responses to active and post-exercise passive heat stress.

Elite pathways and high-performance programs

The Agency has:

  • Tested 2,377 young people (aged 12–20 years) to identify those with highly suitable physical attributes for specific Olympic sports; 94 participants (4 per cent) were invited to trial for sports selection.
  • 71 Talent Search participants are currently in Talent Identification Programs.
  • Provided Sport Pathway Programs for 120 talented athletes across seven sports.
  • Provided support for 40 high-performance athletes in five sporting National Centres of Excellence based in Adelaide in partnership with their respective National Sporting Organisations.
  • Provided support for 23 Paralympic athletes across sport and individual athlete programs.
  • Provided support for 60 athletes from 21 non-program sports through individual scholarships.
  • Supported an additional 140 athletes by providing access to SASI facilities to some of SA’s National League Teams and State Sporting Organisations’ Pathway Programs.
  • Conducted more than 33 laboratory tests including Lactate Profile tests, Maximum Oxygen Uptake (V02 max), Resting Metabolic Rate and Haemoglobin Blood Mass Tests*.
  • Conducted 102 supervised heat loading athlete training sessions across six sport programs*.
  • Conducted 261 Passive Heat Adaption sessions. 

*Activities significantly restricted due to COVID-19 Restricted Operating Protocols


The Agency has invested in research to improve our understanding and capacity to respond in the following areas:

  • Youth Physical Activity – engaging with cohorts of young South Australians in Years 9 and 11 to understand the barriers and motivators for physical activity to inform the development of the state’s Game On Youth Strategy.

Collaborative research was jointly undertaken with partner organisations on the following projects:

Active Lives 2.0 – to monitor and measure against Game On targets the physical activity behaviours across a representative sample of the adult South Australian population in partnership with Wellbeing SA.

Inclusion and diversity

The Agency adopted:

  • A Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2020–24.
  • A 40:40:20 Policy Position on gender diverse Boards.

Universal design principles are applied to sport and recreation projects and facilities maintenance to support family friendly and accessible facilities. Agency major projects utilising universal design include the:

  • State Centre of Football
  • Super-Drome upgrades
  • Women’s Memorial Playing Fields upgrade
  • SA Netball Stadium upgrade.

The Agency achieved its White Ribbon Accreditation during the reporting period.

More jobs 

Agency investment in sporting facilities and upgrades

The Agency is projected to have stimulated 70.3 FTE jobs in the economy through an investment of more than $17.14m in various sporting facilities’ development or upgrades, including infrastructure projects with Home of Football at State Sports Park, Women’s Memorial Playing Fields, Adelaide Super-Drome upgrade, Hindmarsh Stadium upgrade, SA Athletics Stadium upgrade and the Netball SA Stadium upgrade.

Agency funding of community or business sporting facilities and upgrades

The Agency is projected to have stimulated 519.8 FTE jobs in the economy through the provision of $126.78m in funding for various sport and recreation facility developments or upgrades.  This includes but is not limited to Memorial Drive, Thebarton Oval, Murray Bridge Racing Club Stalls Project, Broadview Oval Community and Sports Hub, Alberton Oval Precinct Development and Barossa Rugby Development.

Agency funding supporting employment in the sport and recreation industry

The Agency is projected to have stimulated 33.8 FTE jobs through $8.25m funding in projects to grow the sport or activity, improve services or address barriers to inclusion. 

* Projections based on the employment impact projects of capital projects set out in the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Public Sector Initiatives, which forms part of Treasurer’s Instruction 17.

Agency Specific Objectives and Performance

Objective 1



Ensure South Australians have access to sport and recreation places and spaces that support participation at all levels.

The number of state active recreation and sports venues, properties and trails developed or maintained per annum.

[Target: 29]



Objective 2



Ensure people and organisations delivering sport and active recreation have the capability and capacity to deliver quality opportunities for participation and performance.

The number of training and development services provided to the active recreation and sports industry per annum

*Including those provided under outsourcing arrangements.

[Target: 10]



Objective 3



Ensure it is easy and enjoyable for all South Australians to participate at all levels and in all facets of recreation and sport.

2020 calendar year’s data released by AusPlay on 30 April 2021.

The percentage of South Australian children# and adults^ exceeding the national participation level in sport and active recreation at least once per week*.

[Target: Positive difference between percentages SA:AUS]

# 0-14 years of age   ^ 15+ years of age

*As measured by AusPlay for Jan – Dec 2020

Children: -0.60%


Adults: -1.4%


The percentage of male and females participating in sport and active recreation is approximately equal*.

[Target: Close to 45-55% Males: 45-55% Females

*As measured by AusPlay for Jan – Dec 2020

48.1% M: 51.9% F


The number of sport vouchers redeemed.

Children participating in sport or active recreation.

[Target: 85,000]



The percentage of State Sporting Organisations achieving 40:40:20 gender targets on their boards.

[Target: 100% by 30 June 2021]

35% FY18/19, 

75% FY19/20, 

100% FY20/21

55% meet the target 

45% do not meet the target (35% skewed towards males and 10% skewed towards females.)


Corporate Performance Summary

Corporate Performance Summary

Employment Opportunity Programs

Program Name


Postgraduate Internship Program

SASI has an ongoing partnership with the University of South Australia to provide placement opportunities for PhD and Masters students. Through these programs, three students completed a placement with the Agency during the reporting period.

Graduate Program

No internships occurred during the reporting period.

Undergraduate Internship Program

Four students completed a placement with the Agency during the reporting period through University of South Australia.

Work Experience Program

The Agency has a strong level of interest from high school students to undertake work experience. During the reporting period, one high school student completed a work experience placement with the Agency.

Agency Performance Management and Development Systems

Performance Management and Development System



Staff Performance Management Program

90 per cent of FTE (including staff and managers) completed a formal performance development process in accordance with the Public Sector Employment Guideline on Performance Management and Development as at 30 June 2020.


Executive Performance Management Program

75 per cent of FTE (for executives only) completed a formal performance development process incorporating assessment against the core competencies outlined in the South Australian Executive Service Competency Framework and individual performance indicators.

Work Health, Safety and Return-to-Work Programs

Program Name 



The Agency’s employees are able to participate in the following employee wellbeing activities:

  • Corporate Cup.
  • Online health assessments.
  • Access to onsite gym facilities. 


The Agency provides an annual, voluntary influenza vaccination program to employees. The program is run at our main Kidman Park site. 68 per cent of the workforce opted to be vaccinated during the reporting period.


The Agency offers employees and their immediate family members a short-term, anonymous counselling service for both work-related and personal issues.

The Agency’s Employee Assistance Program was accessed by staff on two occasions during the reporting period.

In addition, the program provides critical incident response. The critical incident response service was made available to staff on one occasion during the reporting period.


The Agency had planned to implement a WHS Action Plan during FY2020/21, following the disruptions to planned operations caused by COVID-19. This has been re-scheduled for implementation during FY2021/22.


The Agency conducted one internal audit for an area of risk.

Workplace Injury Claims

Current Year


Past Year


% Change
(+ / -)

Total new workplace injury claims








Seriously injured workers*




Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE)




*number of claimants assessed during the reporting period as having a whole person impairment of 30% or more under the Return to Work Act 2014 (Part 2 Division 5)

Work Health and Safety Regulations

Current Year


Past Year


% Change
(+ / -)

Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3)




Number of provisional improvements, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 Sections 90, 191 and 195)




Return-to-Work Costs**

Current Year


Past Year


% Change
(+ / -)

Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($)

$ 24,690

$ 18,593 


Income support payments – gross ($)

$ 24,622

$ 16,855


**Before third-party recovery.

Data for previous years is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/organization/office-for-recreation-sport-and-racing

Executive Employment in the Agency

Executive Classification

Number of Executives

SAES Level 1


SAES Level 2


Data for previous years is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/organization/office-for-recreation-sport-and-racing

The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has a workforce information page that provides further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.