This is a printer friendly page
Free for educational use
Video clip synopsis – Can politics and sport be separated? Should international sporting events be influenced by issues such as human rights?
Year of production - 2008
Duration - 2min 19sec
Tags - civics and citizenship, Learning Journey Sport, politics, sport, see all tags


Sport and Politics

How to Download the Video Clip

To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.

download clip icon Premium MP4 sport01_nickgreen_pr.mp4 (17.1MB).

ipod icon Broadband MP4 sport01_nickgreen_bb.mp4 (8.1MB), suitable for iPods and computer downloads.

Additional help.

About the Video Clip


Talkback Classroom is a forum program run by the Education section of the National Museum of Australia. Each year panels of three secondary students selected from schools Australia-wide, interview leading decision-makers on important current issues. The panels participate in a ‘learning journey’ (researching the issues and developing interview skills) to explore the issues and prepare for the forum.

This clip comes from a 2008 learning journey on the topic of Sport. The student panelists were Natasha Rooney (Yr 12 Lowther Hall Grammar School), Sarah Robertson (Yr 12 Girton Grammar School) and James Blaker (Yr 11 Melbourne High School). The interview guest was the Hon Kate Ellis, Minister for Youth and Sport. The forum was held on 28 May 2008. Prior to the forum the panelists undertook an extensive learning journey. During the learning journey they investigated topics such as multiculturalism and sport, politics and sport, women in sport and sport funding (including both government grants and sponsorship from alcohol companies).

Curriculum Focus


Teachers should consult their state’s curriculum and learning programs.

Background Information


Sport is a major part of life in Australia, occupying a large amount of people’s spare time, either through active participation or through following organised sporting competitions. Sport in Australia connects diverse and disparate communities and its importance in daily life has meant it has often been described as our national ‘religion’.

The prominence of sport in society and our nation’s response to sport reveals much about our Australian identity. The values that are important in our society are often reflected in the games we play. Professional participation versus amateurism, commercialism, politics and the opportunity of a fair go for all are all underlying themes connected to sport in Australia.

Additionally, when Australian athletes compete on an international level and their performance is measured against athletes of other nations their success translates into Australia’s success. The importance of sporting success in relation to our national consciousness is a defining element within our collective and individual notions of Australian identity.

Sporting professionals often have a high profile in Australian society and sport coverage plays an important role in the media. This means that sport intersects with many other issues in society, such as politics, gender representation, funding, equity and access.

Classroom Activities


Before you watch

  1. Research the modern Olympics. Find out when they began and what their purpose was.
  2. During the clip James Blaker asks, ‘should the Olympics be a foreground for political issues or should it remain purely about sport and human achievement?’ Write 50 words to explain your response to this question. Review your answer after you have watched the clip.

While you watch

  1. Make notes on what Nick Green says in responses to James Blaker’s question.
  2. What does Nick Green say that the International Olympics committee help celebrate?

After you watch

  1. Research the political issues that surround the 2008 Beijing Olympics or the political issues that embroiled past Olympic games. Review the 50 words that you wrote prior to watching the clip. Present the findings of your research and your opinion of this topic in a powerpoint presentation.

Further Resources


Go to the National Museum of Australia’s Talkback Classroom website

Go to the Australian Sports Commission website