Schools across the country can now apply for funding grants as part of the Abbott Government’s $100 million Sporting School’s programme aimed to get more children fit and healthy and involved in sport earlier in life.

Minister for Health and Sport Sussan Ley today announced that over 2,000 primary schools have registered for the programme and could now apply for funding to provide before, during and after school hours sporting programmes.

Ms Ley said the new Sporting School’s programme would allow schools more flexibility to deliver sporting programmes for their communities to ultimately get more Australian children active, engaged and having fun more often.

“We know parents live busy lives and finding the time to schedule in sport for children is sometimes really challenging,” Ms Ley said.

“Sporting Schools is a key part of the Abbott Government’s plan to encourage children right across Australia to develop healthy and active lifestyles early in life.

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

The programme aims to eventually include 5,700 primary schools across the country and to target over 850,000 children to get involved in a before, during or after school sporting activity.

Ms Ley said approximately three quarters of children spend their spare time watching television, only one third of children are managing the recommended hour physical activity a day and only half are involved in sport.

“We want more schools to register to be involved with Australia’s largest school-based sporting programme. It’s not too late so if you haven’t registered, get on board,” Ms Ley said.

“We want Australian kids to benefit from the positive health and well-being outcomes that come from an active lifestyle and are developed through a lifelong interest in sport.”

Australian Sports Commission CEO, Simon Hollingsworth says Sporting Schools is about developing children’s love of sport during those early years.

“It’s about nurturing their love of fitness and activity so that they become committed to a long term sporting life and fostering skills in leadership, teamwork, social inclusion and community spirit,” Mr Hollingsworth said.

“With the opportunity to apply for funding between now and 26 June, primary schools across the country will increasingly be part of a national programme that’s set to improve children’s participation in sport.

“The bonus is the Sporting Schools programme is in partnership with more than 30 of the country’s leading sporting organisations that are developing resources and activities for schools to use.”

This year’s round of programme delivery grants will enable primary schools to deliver sports-based activities during Term 3 and 4 this year.
More information on Sporting Schools can be found here.