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Sport for development in Asia

Sport for development in Asia

Asian Sports Partnerships (ASP) grants program

In 2016 the Australian Government launched the $4 million Asian Sport Development Partnerships (ASP) program which is expanding Australia's sport for development cooperation across Asia. The ASP builds on the Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) program's track record of achievement, capitalising on existing sports-based partnerships to expand high quality, high-impact sport for development activities into the Asian region.

The goal of the ASP is to make a positive contribution to development and public diplomacy outcomes in Asia through effective sports partnerships.

One Netball Asia in Sri Lanka. Credit: Netball Australia

The program will contribute to this goal through focus on the following objectives:

    1. Contribute to improved health-related behaviours;
    2. Support more inclusive participation; and
    3. Encourage positive social outcomes including peacebuilding.

Within these objectives are opportunities for targeted activities such as: innovative promotion of regular participation in sport amongst less-active populations; inclusive participation of those living with a disability, as well as women and girls, in safe and appropriate community spaces; and activities/events that encourage social cohesion in post-conflict environments.

Programs funded through the first $1.5 million round of grants concluded in September 2016, with 10 Australian sporting organisations undertaking development activities across 8 countries in Asia in 2015-16 (see Table 2 below).

All Australian National Sporting Organisations and National Sporting Organisations for people with disability were invited to submit applications for the second $2 million round of grants in April 2016 with applications closing in June 2016.

The successful applicants for the 2016-17 round are as follows:

Table 1: Activities funded through the Asian Sports Partnerships (ASP): Small Grants Fund 2016-17

Organisation Activity objective Focus Country Funding

1. Athletics Australia

Promotion of inclusion, diversity and education through athletics

Sri Lanka


2. Australian Rugby Union (partnered with ChildFund Australia)

Equipping children and youth in disadvantaged communities to overcome challenges and inspire positive social change through rugby

Laos, Philippines and Vietnam


3. Badminton Australia (partnered with SportMatters)

Promotion of healthy and resilient communities with a focus on children through badminton

Nepal and Bangladesh


4. Baseball Australia

Strengthening leadership of women and girls and awareness of gender violence issues through baseball



5. Boxing Australia

Supporting awareness of environmental sustainability, health and social inclusion through modified community boxing



6. Cricket Australia

Improving capacity of local staff and coaches to deliver quality and gender inclusive community programs through cricket

Afghanistan, China, India, Indonesia and Nepal


7. Disability Sports Australia

Providing opportunities for people with severe disability to participate in sport through wheelchair rugby



8. FIBA (International Basketball Federation)

Improving nutrition and activity levels of women and girls and build capacity and leadership in partnership with ASEAN federations through basketball

Timor-Leste, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam


9. Football Federation Australia

Educating young people on water and sanitation, health, gender and disability through football (soccer)



10. Gymnastics Australia

Promoting leadership capacity of women with a focus on participants with disabilities through gymnastics

Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam


11. Hockey Australia

Promotion of gender equality and access to quality coach education for rural communities through hockey



12. Netball Australia

Improving health-related behaviours, physical and mental wellbeing, and education and advocacy around women's leadership through netball

Nepal and India


13. Sport Inclusion Australia

Building an inclusive sports culture focusing on those with intellectual disability and women and girls through basketball



14. Squash Australia

Fostering youth empowerment, gender inclusion, health and education through The Squash Classroom



15. Table Tennis Australia

Promoting social inclusion and fostering attitudinal change about and amongst people living with disability through table tennis

Indonesia and Thailand


16. Tennis Australia

Increasing physical activity of urban children and promoting community sport through tennis



17. Touch Football Australia

Promoting empowerment and leadership for women and girls through touch football



18. Volleyball Australia

Engendering leadership and life skills in girls and young women in conflict-affected areas of Myanmar through volleyball



Total ASP funding in 2016-17


Sports Exchange Australia leadership program

Sports Exchange Australia is a professional development and educational placement program run by the University of Canberra for sport administrators. Part of the Asian Sports Partnerships program, the short course supports knowledge, leadership and skills exchange between Australian administrators, coaches and officials and counties in the region. Through the course participants develop a comprehensive understanding of sports management, and administration and implementation of policy. In 2016 a course for Indian administrators was run Australia, and a course for South West Asian administrators was run in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The successful applicants for the 2015-16 round were:

Gender equality through baseball in Jakarta Credit: Baseball Australia

Table 2: Activities funded through the Asian Sports Partnerships (ASP): Small Grants Fund 2015-16

Lead organisation Activity Focus Country Funding (AUD)

Total ASP funding in 2015-16


Badminton Australia

Shuttle Time Nepal–Build resilience in children, support inclusion, peacebuilding and health.



Baseball Australia

Diamonds in the Rough–Gender empowerment and engagement of women and men on violence.



Child Fund Australia

Pass it Back (partnered with Asia Rugby) life skills in children and youth for gender equality.



Cricket Australia

Asian Cricket Partnerships Programs–health, gender equality and organisational linkages.

Afghanistan, China, Nepal


FIBA in Oceania

Mum's a Hero–health and nutrition program for older women and families through basketball.



Football Federation Australia

Just Play India–governance, participation, health, gender, education and water/sanitation



Hockey Australia

Indigenous India Hockey Program–focus on inclusive participation and emerging leaders.



Netball Australia

One Netball Asia–education and engagement of women and girls in safe spaces.

India, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka


Table Tennis Australia

ASP Smash Down Barriers–focus on improving the lives of people with disability through sport.



Tennis Australia

Tennis Hot Shots in China–gender, health, disability and wellbeing for urban children.



A very level playing field: Cricket in Afghanistan: Credit: ICC
Last Updated: 6 April 2016
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