A new pilot programme will help schools increase the number of students playing Golf as part of the Australian Government’s plan to get more children fit and healthy through its Sporting Schools program.
Natasha Griggs MP, Federal Member for Solomon, joined Golf Australia and the Australian Sports Commission to launch Golf Australia’s new Sporting Schools program to help create a pathway to the golf industry’s national junior introductory program, MyGolf.
Mrs Griggs said the $100 million program was Australia’s largest school-based participation initiative for children.
“We know it’s vitally important that we help children right across Australia develop healthy and active lifestyles early in life,” she said.
“Sporting Schools is a key part of the Australian Government’s plan to encourage more Australian children to develop a lifelong interest in sport.
“Golf and sport in general is a great way to encourage children right across Australia to get excited about active lifestyles.
“This is particularly important considering one in four children are now overweight or obese.
“With this investment, the Australian Sports Commission will help bring schools and (sporting bodies) such as Golf Australia together to provide a supportive environment that encourages participation for more than 850,000 Australian children.”
Each year more than 5700 schools will be funded through Sporting Schools for practical delivery of sports activities that suit their local needs.
Australian Sports Commission chief executive Simon Hollingsworth said it was important for sporting bodies to work together to develop a supportive environment for Australian children.
“We are excited to be partnering with Golf Australia as well as many of Australia’s key participation sports to develop the Sporting Schools program,” he said.
“From AFL to gymnastics, swimming to golf, we are committed to providing an environment for Australian school children to get involved in sport based activity before, during and after school. This participation at a young age is critical to help children develop a deep connection to sport and healthy and active lifestyles.”
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said the Sporting Schools program will be a fantastic opportunity, alongside MyGolf, to continue to build a consistent pathway from schools to golf clubs for young children across the country.
“Golf Australia, through the MyGolf joint venture with the PGA of Australia, is committed to putting a golf club in the hand of as many children across Australia as possible,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Sporting Schools program will allow us to spread the MyGolf message to tens of thousands of additional school children during the next two years and provide them a clearly visible link to their local MyGolf club program.”
Sporting Schools pilot programs involving 12 sports will be rolled out in coming months, with the program to include more than 30 sports in total from July 2015.
The Golf Australia Sporting Schools program will be made available to all schools once the current pilot is completed at the end of June.
More information on Sporting Schools can be found at www.sportingschools.gov.au or for information on the MyGolf Sporting School program please visit the page on the MyGolf wesbite – www.mygolf.org.au/sporting-schools