A novel way to inspire kids to achieve great things

23 Aug 2016


As the world comes down from the excitement of the Olympics it is timely to think how we will inspire our children to achieve great things.

It is also a time for Australia to see the reality of our youth in sport. More children should experience the fun, comradery and achievement in sport in their young years.

The overwhelming statistic that approximately 25% of our children (0-14yrs) are obese is the call to action.  This equates to about 1.1 million children.

2015 Churchill Fellow, Troy Kirkham, is alarmed by the decreasing youth participation across community sport with in excess of 1 million Australian children who do not participate in sport/dance of any kind.

“My Churchill Fellowship was an incredible opportunity, allowing me to investigate innovative and inclusive retention strategies for youth participants in community sport,” said Troy. 

Refer to Troy’s report here.

He outlines the findings of his recent trip to Canada, New York, Washington DC, London and the UK.

Troy is the State Participation Manager at the West Australian Football Commission.

“We understand the social capital that is established through engagement in sporting clubs contributes to society.  Sport provides an opportunity for inclusion, education and employment and has a considerable cultural significance to all Australians,” Troy said.

“I would like to develop new strategies and redefine sport product offerings to meet the changing needs of our children to reduce the drop out rates.

“My research leads me to the key premise that there should be an integrated or interconnected approach to retention in sport.

“Children want to have more fun, in a less structured environment and to share with their friends a sporting experience over a longer period of time,” Troy said.

CEO of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Adam Davey, said that Fellows such as Troy typify the spirit with which the Churchill Trust was created.

“The Churchill Fellowships offer a way for ordinary people to envisage and realise a project, and then use the knowledge gained from that project to improve their community,” Mr Davey said. 

“Troy’s Fellowship, from its first ideas through to its execution and research gathering embodies this spirit, and will no doubt benefit his immediate community, and the community more broadly. 

“The Trust is proud to call Troy a Churchill Fellow, and we look forward to seeing how his research will contribute to improving the retention of children in sport.”


Media Contact: Christine Glenister, 0419 859 354 cgassoc@iinet.net.au.

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