Sporting Schools kicks off across Australia

22/7/2015

Federal Member for O’Connor today announced that 65 local schools in O’Connor had signed up to be a part of Sporting Schools, the biggest change to school sport in over a decade as part of a $100 million Abbott Government initiative to keep them fit, healthy and happy.

Mr Wilson said Sporting Schools was launched on Monday 20 July and schools in electorate could now take part in the participation-focussed programme.

“This is one of the Abbott Government’s cornerstone preventative health programmes aimed to improve our children’s health through getting more kids involved in physical activity,” Mr Wilson said.

“Being involved in this new programme will expand sporting opportunities for children before, during and after school hours at primary schools.

“Sporting Schools is designed to deliver sports in line with local schools’ needs and ultimately to get the children of O’Connor active, engaged and having fun through sport, more often.”

A quarter of Australian children are now overweight or obese and many more lack the basic skills like running, catching, throwing and kicking needed in everyday life.

Mr Wilson said three-quarters of Australian kids spend their spare time watching television, yet only one third of children are managing the recommended hour of physical activity a day. Only half of our kids are involved in sport.

“That’s why our new Sporting Schools programme is so important to ensuring current and future generations of Australian kids keep fit, healthy and happy.”

Sporting Schools is a core foundation of the Abbott Government’s Play.Sport.Australia. strategy to improve participation in organised sport for people of all ages.

The Sporting Schools announcement is supported by the release of a new online guide offering parents tips on how best to nurture their child’s interest in taking up a sport, as well as maintaining it as they get older.

The Australian Institute of Sport has also developed a new online guide offering tips to parents about how they can nurture their child’s growing interest in sport and convert it into a life-time love of participation. It was launched today in conjunction with the start of Sporting Schools. 

Senior consultant at the AIS Dr Juanita Weissensteiner led the development of the online guide for parents.

“Research shows there’s been a definite reduction in the fundamental movement skills and competencies of our children, especially over the past 15 years,” Dr Weissensteiner said.

“Sporting Schools mixes a direct focus on skills with fun, and these are critical tools in addressing the issue. Importantly, it allows primary school children to sample a diversity of sports, which gives them a broader range of skills and a better chance of discovering the sports they most enjoy.

“There is evidence that children who struggle with fundamental skills have a higher tendency to drop out of sport when they reach their teens. Developing fundamental skills early can lead to greater self-belief and enjoyment, creating the potential for a life-long connection with sport and physical activity.”

Schools could still sign up for the Sporting Schools programme at https://www.sportingschools.gov.au, where a link to the online guide for parents is also available.

ENDS

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