History of Sport NSW

Birth of Sport NSW

July 1991 saw a 'crisis' meeting of many sporting organisations to discuss the mooted deletion of government grants - sport's largest sponsor.  This resulted in a 'task force' being elected to tackle the problem.  Fortunately, they were successful in negotiating with and supported by the Department of Sport, Recreation and Racing and the Minister of the day, the Hon. George Souris.  The current level of funding was committed.

With a $500 seeding loan extended by A.S.S.A NSW branch, the foundation of Sport NSW (formally, the NSW Sports Federation) was developed.  A task force was elected to retain the funding which included; Phill Bates - Chair (Cycling), Frances Crampton (Gymnastics), Allan Batchelor (Athletics), Peter Epov (Volleyball), Joe McCleod (Basketball) and Kevin Nichols (Wrestling and ASSA).  Following this, it was determined a Federation should be formed.

Steering Committee

Questionnaires were sent to all know sports in NSW, and work proceeded on establishing the rules.  In August 1991 a Steering Committee was elected from 29 nominees to form the Federation who consisted of:

Frances Crampton - Chair (Gymnastics), Phil Bates (Cycling), Peter Epov (Volleyball), Alan Batchelor (Athletics), Kevin Nichols (Wrestling and ASSA), Anna Coote (Canoeing).  Deborah Healey was co-opted and became the Honorary Solicitor and Public Officer.

In November 1991, the steering committee reported back to an assembly of interested sporting organisations at a function combined with a Dinner and Guest Speaker, Bob Elphinston of the Sydney 2000 Bid Company.  One complimentary invitation was extended to each sport.  Special recognition was made to Caltex for their contribution and MMB Printers for printing the tickets.  The Steering Committee remained in place until the constitution was completed.  Alan Batchelor resigned and Deborah Healey was elected in his place.  The draft rules were fully discussed and considered.  The steering committee continued to drive Sport NSW until the Constitution was completed.

First Council

On 7 May 1992 the foundation meeting of Sport NSW took place, the inaugural Council was comprised of:

Elected for two years:

Frances Crampton - Chair (Gymnastics), Jim O'Brien (Squash) and Phill Bates (Cycling).

Elected for one year:

Kevin Nichols (Pony Club and ASSA), Rick Pannel - Treasurer (CAMS), Peter Corcoran (Rugby League) was replaced with Denis Braybrook (Rugby League).

Co-opted independents:

Deborah Healey (Honorary Solicitor and Public Officer) Solicitor of Specialist Sports Law / Phillips Fox, David Dickson (former Olympic and Commonwealth Gold Medalist Swimmer and Marketing Director of Darling Harbour) Geoff Lawson (Cricket Great).


Alan Jones (Rugby Union, League and 2UE fame) accepted the role as inaugural Patron.  In 2000 the Hon. John Watkins MP, Minister for Sport and Recreation was invited to be co-patron of Sport NSW.  With the new Minister for Sport and Recreation being appointed, the Hon. Morris Iemma MP helped establish the tradition for the Minister for Sport and Recreation to offer support through his Patronage of Sport NSW, replacing Minister Watkins.  The Hon. Sandra Nori MP has continued this tradition of the Minister assuming the role of Patron.