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Benefits of sport need to be measured 

2 April 2018

Sport helps education, health, gender equality, breaks down barriers and ensures social and economic empowerment. 

That's according to Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland and Australia's Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie, who met on the margins of the 9th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting on the Gold Coast.

"Minister McKenzie and I agreed that sport crosses almost every policy area that governments have to consider," said the Secretary-General.

"It empowers women and girls and fosters equality. It ensures better mental health for those who participate. Sport is a great leveller."

During the meeting Secretary-General Scotland and Minister McKenzie emphasised the importance of explaining to governments the benefits of investing in sport. They discussed the need to strengthen the measurement and evaluation sport makes to a nation's development priorities.

The Secretary-General said, "We need to make the economic case why sport is so important to member states. In Australia, for example, for every dollar that is spent, the return on investment is seven dollars.

"We know that sport promotes the SDGs. Take Jamaica as an example. We know that boys excelled in maths and statistics after sport was used to stimulate their interest and teach them how to apply their learning. This shows the power of sport as a development tool."

Secretary-General Scotland thanked the Australian government for its continued support of the Commonwealth through its investment in climate change, innovation and the youth index. 

The minister said that now was the time to lead by example, not just talking about sport but getting active and walking the talk. 

9th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting