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Sport Australia’s Kate Palmer says schools are critical to solving nation’s inactivity crisis

Sport Australia’s Kate Palmer says schools are critical to solving nation’s inactivity crisis
January 14, 2019

Sport Australia Chief Executive Kate Palmer has today stated that schools are a key vehicle to solving the nation’s inactivity crisis.

Palmer made the remarks at the launch of the 31st Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) International Conference at the Australian Institute of Sport this morning.

Sport Australia is sponsoring and hosting the ACHPER conference at its AIS campus in Canberra from Monday to Wednesday, with some 250 delegates from around the world including physical education teachers, sport educators, coaches and associated health practitioners.

A report card released by the Active Healthy Kids Australia late last year scored Australia a D-minus for children’s physical activity levels, ranking our nation 32 of 49 countries. Research shows 81% of Australian children are not meeting our physical activity guidelines.

Commenting on the challenges, Palmer stated “this is not good enough because we know sport and physical activity can play a crucial role in the holistic development of children, putting them on the path to vibrant and productive lives.

“It can impact positively on their physical and mental health, social development, and their ability to learn.

“There is also a long-term gain because we know children who grow up active and playing sport are 10% more likely to remain active as adults.

“We want to make daily physical activity a part of every child’s life and we believe a key vehicle to solving our inactivity crisis is through schools. We want to support schools and teachers to deliver high quality physical education because we believe that is a critical vehicle for children to develop the confidence, competence and the motivation required to move.

“Sport Australia is committed to making Australia the world’s most active nation and that will require generational change. Sport Australia wants to work collaboratively with the education sector and with organisations such as ACHPER, so together we can get Australian children moving more often.”

The Australian Government’s $200 million Sporting Schools program, managed by Sport Australia, is one example of how Australian children get free access to physical activity. In just over three years, the program has reached 84% of Australian schools.

However, Palmer added “despite the program’s enormous reach, evidence tells us we need more. Increasingly, Australian children are unable to perform basic fundamental movement skills such as running, throwing, kicking, catching or jumping.

“Sport Australia is developing a national commitment to increase physical literacy by embedding it within education environments. Our focus is on ensuring all young Australians have access to the volume of time and the quality of experience needed to ensure they develop into more physically literate Australians.”

Click here for more information on the ACHPER International Conference in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

Image shows Kate Palmer speaking at last year's World Class to World Best Australian Institute of Sport conference.

Related Articles

27th November 2018 - ESSA highlights the urgent need for Australian children to increase their physical activity

9th November 2018 - Sport Australia and the AIS announce new Talent Program to address leadership diversity in sport

31st October 2018 - New Belgravia Kids venture gets Victorian Government backing to improve activity levels among children

20th July 2018 - Report shows few Australians of all ages meeting physical activity guidelines

11th May 2018 - Sports Commission welcomes funding to get Australians active

22nd January 2018 - New Sports Commission executive to focus on partnerships and participation

8th December 2016 - Landmark study finds sport struggling to keep youth engaged

25th September 2016 - 1.2 million primary school students participate in Sporting Schools program

25th May 2015 - Grants now open for Sporting Schools

28th October 2010 - ACHPER announces 27th International Conference

6th April 2009 - ACHPER Conference to Link with Queensland 150th Birthday


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