Australian Children Start Kicking Healthy Goals

Friday, March 13, 2015

A new AFL school sports program was recently launched to help schools get children excited about AFL and getting active as part of the Abbott Government’s plan to get more children fit and healthy through its Sporting Schools programme.

Minister for Health and Sport Sussan Ley joined the AFL and the Australian Sports Commission at St Theresa’s Primary School in Melbourne today to launch the AFL schools programme – one of 12 pilot programmes to be rolled out as part of the $100 million programme – as well as the new Sporting Schools website.

The new Sporting Schools website will allow schools, coaches and sporting organisations across Australia to register their interest in the programme.

Ms Ley said Sporting Schools – announced in the 2014/15 Budget – was Australia’s largest school based participation programme for children.

“It’s vitally important that we help children right across Australia develop healthy and active lifestyles,” Ms Ley said.

“This is particularly important when one-in-four children are now overweight or obese.

“Sporting Schools is one of our key commitments to developing in Australian children a lifelong interest in sport, which will lead to healthy and active lifestyles.

“With this investment, the Australian Sports Commission will help bring schools and sports together to provide a supportive environment that encourages participation for more than 850,000 Australian children.”

Each year more than 5,700 schools will be funded through Sporting Schools for practical delivery of sports activities that suits their individual needs.

All registered schools will also have access to teaching resources and skilled coaching networks across Australia to support their involvement.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Simon Hollingsworth said the new website will be an important and easy way for schools, coaches and sporting organisations across Australia to connect to each other.

“The Australian Sports Commission is committed to providing an environment for Australian school children to get involved in sport based activity before, during and after school,” Mr Hollingsworth said.

“The new website will allow schools, coaches and sporting organisations across Australia to register their interest in Sporting Schools and help them run engaging and fun sports-based activities for children across Australia.

AFL General Manager People, Customer and Community Dorothy Hisgrove said the AFL is delighted to partner with the Australian Sports Commission in an initiative to get school students more active.

“We know by providing AFL programs in schools we introduce the game to children and they can hopefully develop a lifelong love of the game; by following an AFL team, or joining one of our 2600 Clubs or 2800 NAB AFL Auskick centres around Australia,” Ms Hisgrove said.

Sporting Schools pilot programmes involving 12 sports will be rolled out over the next six months, with the programme to include more than 30 sports in total from July 2015.

The AFL program will be made available to most  schools as part of the Sporting Schools programme once the current pilot is complete.

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