Sport Australia’s Sporting Schools program helps schools increase children’s participation in sport by providing free programs.
Since its launch in 2015, more than 8,000 schools have received funding through the program, with more than 520,000 participating in the program each quarter.
The program has changed the lives of students from Adelaide East Education Center, who has tasted eight sports including table tennis, cricket and tactile football since 2019.
âOur students are mostly on the autism spectrum and have learning and social interaction difficulties, so they may find it difficult to join the team,â said teacher Jenny Bonnett.
âA lot of them haven’t been exposed to a lot of different sports, so this program gives them the social experiences that are missing in their lives.
âEvery coach who came to the school developed a fantastic relationship with the students which resulted in fun, active participation and incredible results. “
Jenny added that in addition to training, the school was able to purchase equipment to continue offering sports to students.
Students at St Joseph’s School in Western Australia also take advantage of the opportunity to get active through sports schools, trying badminton, tennis and volleyball.
Teacher Olivia Sturtridge said the school’s 150 students attended a weekly lesson for five weeks where they learned the rules and skills of each game.
Students could then access the equipment to continue developing their skills during the breaks.
âThe feedback from our students has been fantastic [and] many of them have expressed interest in joining a local sports club, âshe added.
St Joseph’s also helps grade 5 and 6 students get involved in club sport through the Eastern Goldfields Combined School Sports Association’s Red Ball competition.
âOur students learn tennis during school hours and then every year in term 4 they have the opportunity to go to the local tennis club to participate in the Red Ball competition.
âWe have noticed that our students are more focused, they are better able to solve problems and we have seen a huge improvement in their fundamental movement skills. Honestly, we couldn’t have done it without the sports schools.
Partner sports schools 37 national sports organizations provide free and fun sports opportunities for children before, during and after school. It gives millions of Australian children the opportunity to participate in sport and enjoy the physical, social and physiological benefits that sport offers.
“A positive connection to sports schools can make a lifelong difference and give children the motivation to be active in school and throughout their lives,” said Rob Dalton, Acting CEO of Sport Australia .
“We hope that through the Sports Schools program, children will find a sport they enjoy, and then we will encourage them to use our Find a Club Resource which can put them in contact with a local club to continue their sporting journey.