Sports Innovation – Winning Gongs through Collaborative Excellence

by Nov 30, 2021News, Not-For-Profit

Every day at Playbk we are in the privileged position to fuse our passions of education and sports innovation with technology enhanced learning products that deliver positive outcomes for learners. We don’t take this responsibility for granted, and indeed it is what drives us to be our best.

One of our greatest responsibilities is to take the intellectual property of our partner organisations and carefully craft this to develop engaging and purposeful learning content – delivered through a sports innovation online medium. The challenge of helping school students, teachers, coaches, volunteers and even corporate learners develop authentic outcomes in their specific context is one of our strengths.

So it was last week that this philosophy and combined effort of a number of individuals was acknowledged when Gymnastics Victoria (GV) was awarded the VicHealth Sport Initiative of the Year Award at the 2021 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards.

The award recognised the outstanding initiative which was the ‘Creating a Positive Experience for Athletes with Autism in Gymnastics’ online learning course. The course was developed to provide gymnastics coaches with evidence based coaching methods to support the participation experience of athletes with autism, a truly unique sports innovation coaching product.

How did this all come together though? And how does it reinforce the Playbk way? Here’s 4 reasons.

1. Academic Rigour as a Starting Point

The course was built using the original curriculum developed by Meghan Wilson and Cara Small. Both psychologists and experts in working with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Meghan and Cara designed a face to face workshop leaning on their extensive ASD theoretical knowledge and fusing this with their coaching and gymnastics backgrounds. 

The face-to-face workshop had been piloted with hundreds of coaches before being transformed for the digital environment.

2. Gather the Dream Team

We were fortunate that all partners involved from inception to launch were supportive of the initiative and highly competent. April Wilson from GV started the project and handed the reins to Carolyn Bell, both of whom were incredibly knowledgeable and professional, making the project – fun! Who knew working with like-minded and dedicated people could be an enjoyable experience!

We also had Naomi Tsedorpf and Cara Small provide their expertise to the filming sessions, our gun videographer Paul Newport developing our video content, Eastern Gymnastics Club opening their venue and Gen Simmons from GV supporting the course release. Further, the Special Olympics Australia team were generous and supportive in providing a home for the course in their online learning ecosystem.

What do they say about making the dream work?

3. Handle Me With Care

Just like the Travelling Wilbury’s sung in the 80’s, critical to our role is to pay respect and care to the development of the original curriculum whilst learning on our expertise in online learning, and in this instance coaching, to ensure the final product is reflective of both the ideation and actualisation phases. 

Developing a purposeful online learning course is much more than just repurposing a PowerPoint designed for the classroom environment, and this is where Playbk’s expertise is at its most valuable. 

This course was reflective of the critical theoretical elements, and this information was fused with coach in action videos and key coaching tips, to provide a highly immersive experience along with various prompts to encourage participants to apply the learning into their contextual environment.

sports innovation company working with athletes with autism

4. Every End Has a Start

Seeing as we’re on a roll with some musical metaphors, why not drop in one from the Editors – as they melodically belted out in the late naughties – ‘Every End Has a Start’.

What does this mean exactly? It is easy to think you can sit back and put your feet up when a new course is released – the hard work is done and the next project beckons. Not quite!

Data analysis, feedback review, ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders and sharing of data for final reports are but a few of the important tasks to focus on after the course has been released. In this instance supporting GV’s award application with specific data was also important to build a compelling narrative for final submission. The Dream Team couldn’t quite down tools just yet!

Bill Wooden, the doyen of college basketball coaching, asked his players to focus on the process – outcomes would be achieved if the process was followed. I’m not sure any business or organisation sets out to win awards as the starting off point of a new initiative but I know Playbk doesn’t – process is our guiding light.

However, when these things come along it is important to reflect on why, to harness this capital and ensure it becomes part of your DNA. For Playbk, this award is recognition of the process – I’m sure Bill Wooden would be happy.

Congratulations to Gymnastics Victoria and all those involved in this great achievement. We’re proud to have played our role in such a great initiative.

For free access to ‘Creating a Positive Experience for Athletes with Autism in Gymnastic’ online sports innovation course visit Special Olympics Australia online portal – SOA Learn:

About Playbk Sports

Reach More Fans With World-Class SportsTech 

Formerly operating as  Leaders of Evolution, Playbk is a leading SportsTech company bringing dynamic, digitally enabled online learning content to new and existing fans.  
Playbk works with your team by harnessing your logo, players, coaches and administrators and uses the power of those ‘brands’ to create learning opportunities that clubs can commercialise. 

As SportsTech trailblazers, Playbk fuses education and fan engagement – at scale. 

Playbk’s full-stack digital approach provides strategy, portal design and development, marketing and technology solutions that seamlessly work within and uplift existing business functions.  

Playbk continues to focus on innovative solutions for organisations across elite sport, education and not-for-profits to connect with fans in authentic and meaningful ways.  

At Playbk, we create experiences that people remember.   


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