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Federal budget funding backs school sport and Commonwealth Games
Details of sport funding commitments from the 2014/15 Federal budget include $156 million towards the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and $100 million for the Sporting Schools Initiative.
The Federal budget funding for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is part of the Government's Economic Action Strategy that aims to support the development of infrastructure, boosting economic growth and sporting activity in the region.
The Federal Government sees that the 2018 Games will provide key opportunities for tourism, economic, cultural and diplomatic outcomes.
The investment will see the Government partner with the Queensland Government and Gold Coast City Council to develop Games infrastructure such as the Carrara indoor stadium and precinct and a major velodrome being developed in Brisbane.
The Sporting Schools Initiative aims to encourage school children to take part in sport-based physical activity before, during or after school to encourage participation in sport and physical activity and help address growing rates of overweight and obesity. The funding will directly link schools with sporting clubs to assist them to run activities across 35 major sports such as football, netball, tennis and gymnastics.
On average, it is expected that each grant will be worth around $1,700.
The Sporting Schools funding has been welcomed by Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair John Wylie who believes that more sport in schools for more children will change lifelong habits for the better.
Wylie explained “we are excited that the Federal Government has launched the Sporting Schools program which will provide more young Australians than ever before with the opportunity to participate in a range of sports while at school.
"This brand new initiative aims to foster a greater connection for Australia children with sport and one that we hope will provide a lifelong love of sport."
The Sporting Schools program, announced as part of the Federal Government's 2014/15 budget statement, will be administered by the ASC.
Sporting Schools is expected to begin rolling out in 2015 with more than 5,000 primary schools delivering sporting programs to more than 850,000 children in the school yard before, during and after school with the support of national sporting organisations (NSOs).
Wylie added "the health benefits of physical activity are well documented and we are delighted that the Sporting Schools program will see national sports and schools work closely together to deliver quality sport-based activity."
Sporting Schools is an evolution of the Active After-school Communities program which has run since 2005.
ASC Chief Executive Simon Hollingsworth was delighted with the announcement saying the exciting aspect of this new program is that it will be delivered to more than twice the number of primary schools around the country and nearly 60% more students.
Hollingsworth stated “this means that more children than ever will be able to improve their physical literacy and enjoy sport in the familiar school setting.
“For sports, it allows them the opportunity to better profile their activities and explore new ways of capturing the interest of children.”
Sporting Schools forms an important part of the ASC’s future participation strategy with a focus on children and young adults and improving the capacity of NSOs to develop and grow. The ASC’s participation approach will be released later this year.
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