Last week, I was lucky to be part of Queensland’s SportX: 2032 Sport Economy Strategy event at The Gabba (Home of the Opening Ceremony in just over 10 years time).
SportX launches off the back of the Brisbane 2032 Games announcement. Businesses, industries and communities all across the state are seeing the potential of the Games, and the once-in-a-generation opportunities this event will bring. With a little over 10 years to go, now is the time to start the conversations and begin sharing knowledge and technologies across the sectors. It’s a unique opportunity to build new-world skills, diversify our economy, create jobs and accelerate growth in tech and innovation.
Most of us think of a ‘sport economy’ in the traditional sense – sports teams, ticketing, merchandise, stadiums, food and beverage, broadcasting – but the SportX movement brings in a much broader subset of applied technologies. Sport is evolving each and every day through the emergence and take-up of wearable tech, virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, live streaming, smart stadiums, NFTs, enhanced data analytics and much more.
SportX is also about attracting expertise and tech applications from different fields, and likewise, sharing sports innovation with industries like health, education and defense. Queensland companies Next Level Racing, Real Serious Games, Playcasta and VALD Performance showcased some of their tech and ideas on the night, and even went head-to-head in a challenge, with the winners taking home coveted 3D SportX trophies.
VALD Performance is one of the exciting Queensland companies leading the way (you might remember them from my Expo 2020 Dubai visit). Technologies like their NordBord Hamstring Testing and HumanTrak Movement Analysis systems have been developed for high performance athletes, but are now being used more broadly by health organisations to benefit even more people such as those with limited mobility, or those needing hip replacements as an example. Why can’t my Dad, needing a hip replacement, use the same technology as LeBron James? Well, now he can!
Similarly, SportX is engaging people and businesses with a tech innovation lens to turn their expertise to sport and try to solve some of the bigger societal challenges with our mental and physical health. How do we increase participation and collaboration? How do we get more people moving, more often, and work towards tackling the national obesity crisis?
SportX is all about creating an ecosystem of collaboration, co-design and co-creation. And while it is built around the excitement of 2032, its real purpose is to develop new skills, new technologies, new businesses and a culture of innovation and ‘having a crack’ within Queensland, as well as growing our manufacturing and export capabilities. SportX is our future!
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