Australian government ties sport into diplomacy with new roundtable

The federal government organized a round table on sports diplomacy.

“Sports is one of Australia’s strengths,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said.

“The Albanian government is using all elements of national power to increase Australia’s influence in an increasingly competitive world.”

The announcement comes weeks before the Paris Olympics kick off on July 26 and shortly after four NRL games played opening round games in Las Vegas.

The revamped sport-as-diplomacy scheme also comes after Port Adelaide chairman David Koch said in recent weeks there was “some whispering from Canberra to gauge whether we would be interested in coming back…” and continuing Port Adelaide’s annual regular season match in China played in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Damaging trade sanctions between Australia and China have largely been remedied in recent months as Australia’s main export finds a place on Chinese shelves again, with beef the latest industry to receive a reprieve from the dispute.

The federal government is giving “national sports organizations and peak bodies a seat at the table, reflecting their central role in advancing Australia’s interests through sport,” the foreign minister announced on Saturday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will coordinate a new consultative group on sports diplomacy.

The group will chew through the strategic and economic opportunities and risks in international sport, including upcoming events in Australia and overseas, and ways governments and the sports sector can work together to advance “shared priorities”.

After the review, the advisory group replaces the advisory board. The new group will also host an annual roundtable for the wider group.

The diplomatic reshuffle aims to capitalize on preparations for the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sports Minister Anika Wells said the competition on the pitch had multiple benefits.

“As we head towards Brisbane 2032, we will host some of the world’s biggest sporting events, giving us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Australia’s excellence and expertise in innovation, tourism, services and products,” she said.

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said the sport transcended borders.

“By harnessing the unifying power of sport, we can build bridges and promote goodwill between different communities around the world,” he said.

Read related topics:Penny Wong

Leave a Comment