31 August 2021
Sport Australia is proud to support an initiative aimed at creating one thousand play-friendly streets for children across Australia by 2025.
National advocacy organisation Play Australia has launched its ‘1000 Play Streets’ movement.
Funded through Sport Australia’s Move It AUS-Participation grant, the project aims to reconnect communities and encourage outdoor play as COVID-19 restrictions ease across the country.
It follows research that just one in three children engage in daily free play outdoors. Furthermore, the Australian Psychological Society revealed a third of people don’t see or speak to their neighbours on a regular basis.
‘’The Morrison Government and Sport Australia recognise the importance of 1000 Play Streets to get more Australians connected and moving across our communities,’’ Federal Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck said.
Play Australia's Executive Director Barb Champion agreed, adding that the movement is being launched at a critical time.
‘’Many of our communities are hurting at the moment, people are lonelier than ever due to restrictions and our children are suffering due to a lack of opportunity to get outside and play.”
The program was first piloted in 2019 and since then has been successfully trialled in Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia where 100 per cent of surveyed participants said they’re now more likely to support their children playing outside.
Play Australia is now encouraging local governments and the public to download the 1000 Play Streets toolkit and start putting steps in place to close quiet residential streets for short periods of time so children can play freely and safely.
‘’Now is the time for our local governments across Australia to plan for a brighter future and join the 1000 Play Streets movement so we can all reimagine our streets as places for neighbours to come together and play and to ultimately improve community health and wellbeing,” Ms Champion said.
To date Sport Australia’s Move It AUS-Participation Grant Program has supported 88 projects across the country which encourage Australians to get moving or keep active.