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Sporting Schools celebrates 15 million milestone in the Top End

Fifteen million Aussie kids have now taken part in Sporting Schools, the Australian Sports Commission’s (ASC) flagship program for students.

A group of children holding basketballs gathered on a court with MPs Luke Gosling and Anika Wells
Member for Solomon Luke Gosling and Minister for Sport The Hon Anika Wells with Driver Primary School students, celebrating Sporting Schools reaching 15 million students.

Minister for Sport The Hon Anika Wells visited a Northern Territory primary school this morning to celebrate the significant milestone and announce an expansion of the Sporting Schools program.

The free program helps children get involved in sport in a safe and fun environment, designed specifically for students in primary schools and Years 7 and 8.

More than 15 million school students have now participated in a Sporting Schools program over the past eight years with Minister Wells joining Year 4 and 5/6 students at Driver Primary School in Darwin in games of basketball and hockey to mark the occasion.

“Sporting Schools changes lives and supports more than two million students to get involved in sport and physical activity each year,” Minister Wells said.

“It has enabled schools like Driver Primary to host free programs to help students build their confidence and lead active, healthy, lives.

“We want millions more kids to enjoy accessible sport as we build towards Brisbane 2032 and there are kids at Driver Primary in Darwin who could be an Olympian in nine years time.”

More than 40 different sports are on offer for schools with Driver Primary trying seven different sports since receiving its first grant in 2018.

Students will take part in basketball, hockey and athletics this term.

From next term, the program will also be expanded to include a pilot in Years 9 and 10. Schools can apply for a $3000 grant to deliver programs that support students at a critical period of their life to play, officiate, coach or volunteer in sport.

“We know sport participation tends to drop off around the age of 14, particularly in females and we hope this program will deliver fun and inclusive sporting experiences so teenagers can continue experiencing the benefits of being involved in sport,” ASC CEO Kieren Perkins OAM said.

“Through this pilot program, schools can continue running programs in their current form or try new approaches to engage with teenagers such as coaching and officiating courses, sport programs with a mental wellbeing focus or programs that target female participation.

“We thank the Australian Government for their continued support of this life-changing program and we look forward to millions of more Australian children getting involved with sport through the Sporting Schools program in the years to come.”

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