Sporting schools kicks off at Merriwa Primary School

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, announced earlier this year that 31 local schools in Pearce had signed up to be a part of Sporting Schools, the biggest change to school sport in more than a decade.

Mr Porter recently visited one of the schools that have signed up, Merriwa Primary School, to see first‑hand the positive impact the programme is having.

“Being involved in this new programme will expand sporting opportunities for children at Merriwa Primary School before, during and after school hours to help them develop healthy and active habits early in life,” Mr Porter said.

“I had the chance to watch a football scratch-match on the school oval, and then was put to task in a kick‑to‑kick with a group of students – needless to say, they were a lot better than me.”

Mr Porter said that Sporting Schools is part of a $100 million Coalition Government initiative to keep school children fit, healthy and happy.

“The programme is designed to deliver sports in line with local schools’ needs and ultimately to facilitate and encourage children to be active, engaged and have fun through sport, more often,” he said.

“Importantly, the programme allows school children to sample a diverse range of sports, which gives them a broader range of skills and a better chance of discovering the sports they most enjoy.

Mr Porter said that, alarmingly, a quarter of Australian children are now overweight or obese and many more lack the basic gross-motor skills needed in everyday life such as running, catching, throwing and kicking.

“Three-quarters of Australian kids spend their spare time watching television, yet only one third of children are completing the recommended hour of physical activity each day,” he said.

“Only half of our kids are involved in sport – that is why our new Sporting Schools programme is so important in ensuring that current and future generations of Australian kids are fit, healthy and happy.”

More information on Sporting Schools can be found at www.sportingschools.gov.au, where schools can also still sign up for the programme.