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Aussie kids no longer active kids

Australia’s reputation as a nation of sporting achievers is in jeopardy with research showing primary school children have poor physical literacy with the majority spending an average five hours a fortnight participating in sport.

Sporting experts will look at the issues facing junior sport participation – including teaching and coaching – at the World Congress on Elite Sport Policy hosted by Victoria University next week.

Leading sport scientist Damian Farrow, Professor of Skill Acquisition at Victoria University’s Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL) and the Australian Institute of Sport will lead the panel discussion.

With junior sport participation rates in steady decline – recent figures show only 66% of nine to 11 year-olds take part in sport – talk of a national crisis in junior sport is not misplaced.

Recent research from Victoria University’s ISEAL, involving 400 primary school children, also found an alarming decline in fitness and ball skills like catching and throwing.

“Strong physical education programs and junior sport participation is the foundation of Australia’s sporting talent pipeline and a key pillar for elite sporting success,” Professor Farrow said.

“It is time to look at junior sport and physical education differently.”

Topics to be covered at the panel discussion include:

  • How to deliver quality physical education and sport in schools to ensure children develop necessary fundamental movement skills
  • Identifying the crucial links between education and sport. Who is responsible? How do they work together more effectively?
  • The role parent’s play in nurturing their children's sporting foundation
  • What sports are doing to promote fundamental skill and talent development.

Panellists include Dr Machar Reid from Tennis Australia, Dr Juanita Weissensteiner from the Australian Institute of Sport, Madi Robinson from the Melbourne Vixens, Geoff Howes from The Australian Sports Commission and Natalie Lander from Deakin University.

Professor Farrow is available for interview.

What: The World Congress on Elite Sport Policy Public Forum: Physical literacy and talent development workshop
When: Tuesday 24 November, 4.30pm – 5.45pm
Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Wharf, Victoria
RSVP: Media are invited to attend. Email [email protected].


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