Sporting Nation

In this three-part series, John Clarke, arguably Australia's greatest natural athlete, looks at how Australia came to take its sport so seriously and what it means to be a sporting nation.

The Sydney Olympics delivered heroes and unforgettable moments. But there was one event that gathered up the Australian community as one and made them all feel good at the same time. If you're an Australian, you'll be able to answer this question: where were you when Cathy Freeman ran in the 400 metres final? John asks all the people interviewed for this series what it meant. And he asks Cathy.

Since the 1950s and 60s, the great Australian sports experience has shifted from playing sport to watching it. Television wants live sport and more live sport - with a very strong preference for male team sport. But the healthy, egalitarian society we think all this televised sport is reflecting, is in trouble. And sport is often funded by the problem. Away from the professional and international arena, community sport, mainly football and netball, is gathering pace, the common ground and the social glue across a lot of rural Australia. Sub-cultural sports in the suburbs provide a sense of connection and community for people who don't find it in traditional sport. Legions of mum and dad volunteers prop up an industry in kids' sport that is more about keeping kids active and healthy and away from screens than it is about producing champions. John asks some of the greatest athletes this nation has ever produced how they achieved such prodigious deeds and why sport is important. And the answers are not what you'd think.

This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.

Production Year: 
3 x 55 mins
Series Episode
Standard $275
Schools $198

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