Up to 190,000 primary school students around the country will be getting stuck into sport next year, thanks to the extension of the popular Active After-School Communities program by the Gillard government.
The 2013–14 Budget includes $39.4 million in new funding to continue the program, which encourages participation in sport from an early age.
‘Australians love their sport, but in our modern world some young Australians are missing out on opportunities to get involved,’ said minister for sport, Senator Kate Lundy. ‘The Active After-School Communities program provides access to free, inclusive and positive sporting experiences to children after school.’
Ms Lundy says the program helps kids fall in love with sport and ultimately encourages them to join their local sporting club. ‘Over 70 different sports are on offer right around the country, and research shows that after participating in the program, two-thirds of kids show an interest in participating in sport.
The Active After-School Communities (AASC) program is currently delivered at more than 3,200 sites across Australia to about 190,000 children. Since the program commenced in 2005 some 53,000 community coaches have been trained. Ms Lundy says the national initiative is helping to build a strong regional and rural network of sport providers who are seeing real social and health benefits in these communities. ‘Importantly, a significant proportion of children who have been involved in the program are from families who have experienced disadvantage or financial hardship.’
Together with the AASC, the government will invest over $115 million in sports participation programs, including the Indigenous Sport and Active Recreation and the Multicultural Youth Sports Partnership programs, and fund national sporting organisations to increase participation in 2013–14.
The AASC program is managed by the Australian Sports Commission through a network of locally based regional coordinators who assist schools and after-school care centres facilitate the program, recruit and train community coaches, and work with local sporting clubs and organisations to increase junior membership.
This budget keeps our economy strong, makes smart investments for our future and ensures every Australian gets a fair go.
We are investing for the future, putting jobs and economic growth first and protecting the important services that Australians rely on, such as extracurricular school activities.
From AIS – http://www.ausport.gov.au