SGL Expands its Sport and Recreation Development Support Services

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015

SGL and its associated companies have reached a major milestone in March 2015, celebrating a total of 27 years in the sport, recreation and leisure services planning industry. During that time, the company has completed more than 900 projects and has consolidated a great team of people to offer industry specific leisure planning services across all Australian states and territories, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and China.

In the past decade, SGL has also built up key expertise in a range of specialist areas including Sport Facility Development and Sport Support Services with clients from local through to elite participation.

Michael King, one of the founding Directors of the company, believes this long-standing service history is important in the ever-changing sport, recreation and leisure sector. Over his time, Michael says “I have seen many companies start up and take the quick path to completing projects, continually changing staff, make big profits and even selling up and reinventing themselves in new companies, to do it all over again.

SGL on the other hand has always been based around a network of local, regional offices and a team of experienced local government, state government and community sport, recreation and leisure professionals that want to make a difference in every project they are involved in. The company and its people are guided by its core values of being passionate about our work, creating inspired solutions, being high achievers and living what we do”.

This has assisted the company achieve success and continue to expand to cover a broad geographic area and our commitment to our core company purpose to “create opportunities for people to enjoy an active and healthy life” is broadening our reach around the world, says Michael.

The expansion of its sport development and support services is one example where SGL is making a major difference, with many projects now creating a legacy for venues and facilities for increased participation, through to improved high performance and elite player training and competition.

In Australia over the past three years, SGL has tripled its sport clients and projects which for example included/include:

  • Developing the concept, feasibility, business plan and site options for the National Home of Golf and Centre of Excellence Project for the PGA, Golf Australia and Golf Victoria.
  • Completion of state sport facility development strategies for a range of state sports including basketball, netball, squash and gymnastics.
  • Assisting Cricket Australia with setting up the operations, programs and services at the (Bupa) National Cricket Centre at Allan Border Field, QLD.
  • Assisting elite sporting clubs such as Collingwood FC and Richmond FC with identifying their next stages of development and how they improve services to their members as well as the community around their high performance training and development centres.
  • Completing feasibility, business planning and funding partnerships for major regional facilities in new population growth areas in Victoria, NSW, WA and QLD. Some of these facilities are now attracting 1 million plus visits as well as significant employers in their local areas. These are also major purchasers of local goods and services so they are directly impacting positive economic as well as health benefits.
  • Completing feasibility and master plans for Regional Sport Centres of Excellence in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, both in metropolitan and provincial settings.
  • Completion of the State Sport Centres Trust (Victoria) Facilities Business Review.

Internationally, SGL is also making its mark with key highlights including:

China – Major Sport Park Developments – SGL has been working with major sport park facility developers/owners and their architects to develop/redevelop a range of significant indoor/outdoor sport parks across China, as well as reviewing the efficiency of some existing venues. Many of these projects are l leading edge as some of the sport park facilities service more than 3 million visitors and are becoming true community outlets for local people to be more active, healthier and enjoying sport, recreation and leisure activities.

This is a major change to previous China populations and the central government is now actively supporting development of new sport facilities across the country as well as people being encouraged to be more active.

Papua New Guinea – SGL has also been continuing its work with the 2015 Pacific Games Authority (PGA) and the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Sports Foundation on the newly developed major sports venues for the 2015 Pacific Games. The key community legacy benefit outcome is that the facilities are designed and planned to be operated as key community sport facilities after the games that finish in late July 2015.

The $1 Billion Kina invested in these facilities by the PNG Government will become an everlasting legacy to more people participating in sport, recreation and leisure activities but it is critical they are managed and operated to ensure people can use them.

SGL, through Associate Larry Sengstock and Senior Consultant Mark Upson, has assisted with initial business planning and management options and they are now developing venue management and operational models under a new purpose developed New Guinea Sports Foundation Company. SGL is also linking in with Australian Sport Facility Education providers to help set up training the large workforce needed to manage and operate the facilities. Many of these jobs will go to local people and this, over time, will help build a legacy of trained sport facility operators and developers.

New Zealand – SGL is continuing its work with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and Local Government to assist with stakeholder engagement, design support, business and management planning and component reviews for the development of the proposed Metro Sport Centre in Christchurch.

This facility is expected to cost in excess of $270 million ($NZD) and will be one of the largest indoor sports facilities ever developed in Australasia. SGL has been providing support services to this project for more than 2 years and Director Kate Maddock has been able to provide integrated services and professional advice across a broad range of specialist areas.

In Australia and with our close neighbours, Michael indicates “we have reached an exciting space in sport and leisure development where we have the different levels of government and developers partnering each other to assist with funding major facilities, programs and services primarily due to the positive health and economic outcomes being generated”.

This has certainly allowed major facility development to increase, but Michael warns a critical success strategy is for the early feasibility, planning and strategic work to be completed so the best and highest use facilities get a share of the funding. This allows these projects to be identified against the low use, sometimes high profile and politically linked projects that will not have the same benefits.

For support with your next project or further information on how SGL can assist you, please contact any of the following SGL Directors:

  • Michael King (,
  • Kate Maddock ( or
  • Phillip Gray (

Or call the Australian SGL Head Office on +61 (03) 9698 7300.