21 July 2015

Sporting Schools kick off across Australia

Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson today announced that thirty-seven Corangamite schools have 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 Federal Government initiative to keep kids fit, healthy and happy.

With the launch of Sporting Schools, schools in the region can now take part in the participation-focussed programme.

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

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

“Once schools have registered, Sporting Schools offers access to annual funding to provide up to three terms of sport-based activity for children.

“Sporting Schools is designed to deliver sports in line with local schools’ needs and ultimately to get local school kids 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.

Ms Henderson 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.”

The Sporting Schools announcement is also 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.

Five tips to nurture your child’s sporting development

TIP 1: Foster a full range of fundamental movement skills. This includes kicking or hitting a ball, running, jumping, climbing and basic aquatic skills.

TIP 2: Promote play by setting up diverse and stimulating environments at home. Use a variety of areas around the home, like the backyard or even the hallway, to play. Provide a variety of sports equipment. Encourage ambidexterity (use of limbs on both sides of the body).

TIP 3: Foster everyday sport activity at home and be an effective support provider. Limit screen time at home. Provide a positive encouragement for sporting activity and get involved.

TIP 4: Insist on the right sport format and equipment. Sporting Schools provides a great choice of appropriate sport formats for primary school children that are lots of fun. Buy the right sized equipment.

TIP 5: Sample and have fun! Resist the temptation for your child to specialise in one sport too early. Sampling a large range of sports, at least until the age of 15, is likely to assist the development of a full range of sporting skills, coordination and control. It also minimises the risks of overuse injuries and allows kids to work out which sports they like most.

Corangamite schools which have registered with Sporting Schools so far are:

Alvie Consolidated School, Anglesea Primary School, Apollo Bay P-12 College, Barwon Heads PS, Barwon Valley School, Beeac PS, Bellbrae PS, Belmont PS, Birregurra PS, Ceres PS, Christian College Geelong, Clairvaux Catholic School, Colac PS, Colac Specialist School, Colac West PS, Deans Marsh PS, Elliminyt PS, Forrest PS, Geelong Lutheran College, Grovedale PS, Grovedale West PS,Inverleigh PS, Linton PS, Lorne-Aireys Inet P-12 College, Meredith PS, Montpellier PS, Mt Duneed PS, Oberon PS, Oberon South PS, Our Lady Star of the Sea PS, St Brendans Catholic PS, Surfside PS, Teesdale PS, Torquay P-6 College, Wallington PS, Winchelsea PS, Woady Yaloak PS Smythesdale

21 July 2015