The government is helping more kids get active and fostering the talents of Victoria’s future sports stars, with more support for schools to offer exciting sports programs and encourage physical activity.
Minister for Education Natalie Hutchins and AFLW Carlton star Darcy Vescio visited Ardeer South Primary School, one of 96 schools to receive an Active Schools grant this year – part of the Labor Government’s $45.4 million initiative to give Victorian kids the skills, confidence and motivation to be active for life.
“Regular physical activity makes a huge difference to young people’s mental and physical health as well as their educational outcomes – that’s why we’re investing in Active Schools to give every student the opportunity to find an activity they love.” says Minister for Education, Natalie Hutchins.
The grant has transformed Ardeer South PS into a hive of football activity – using its grant to completely resurface the school oval and install new goal posts so kids can get into footy both during and after school, and allowing the school to compete in interschool AFL competitions.
The school has also partnered with the Western Bulldogs Friendly Schools program and built a strong link with the Sunshine Heights Football Club, helping to flood the club’s junior ranks with new players.
One student, Hope, has taken up footy both at school and Sunshine Heights and has progressed from having confidence issues to winning the Western Bulldogs Heartland Award for her achievements in the team – and now aspires to play AFLW one day.
On top of their Active Schools grant, in the past year Ardeer South Primary School has also received two Physical Education and sports funding boosts to increase their school’s physical education budget.
The Labor Government has today also announced more than $641,000 for new ‘innovative behaviour’ trials in some Victorian government schools, which will test the most effective ways to encourage adolescents to do more physical activity and maintain healthy habits for life.
Regional Arts Victoria is one of four organisations to successfully secure a grant across three key areas – quality school sport, active travel, and active recreation – to help address declining physical activity rates among secondary school students through their Circus Active program.
Other sporting and community organisations who will be supported to do this research include Victorian YMCA Community Programming (Quality School Sport), Cancer Council Victoria (Active Travel) and GippSport Inc (Active Recreation).
As part of the Active Schools initiative, the Labor Government earlier this year launched Get Your Move On, a campaign encouraging young people aged 5 to 18 years to get 15 minutes of physical activity, four times a day.
The Victorian Budget 2022/23 invested more than $20.8 million to boost the Active Schools program and promote long-term health and wellbeing in generations of young Victorians to come.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate Active Schools funding recipients – I want to congratulate all the successful schools for their work to keep young Victorians active, fit and healthy.” says Minister for Education, Natalie Hutchins.
For more information please visit www.vic.gov.au/active-schools