Who are we?
We are a non-for-profit initiative aiming to raise awareness of the importance of sport and physical education throughout Australian Primary Schools.
What does that mean?
Primary schools have gradually been cutting down on the weekly time allocated for physical activity, moving further away from the recommended two hours of ‘planned’ sport a week. In the current school curriculum there is a recommendation that students partake in at least 120 minutes of physical activity per week. In 2014, however, a new national school curriculum for health and physical education will be introduced and sport will not be included as one of the mandatory elements.
Why get rid of sport?
With the rise of academic testing such as the NAPLAN test (where schools receive funding based on their student’s academic performance) more and more emphasis is being placed on the importance of academia, whilst sporting and cultural activities continue to fall to the wayside.
With less attention being given to the development of student’s physical capabilities in Primary Schools, a number of students have finished Year 6 with seriously under-developed motor skills. A recent study in NSW found that half the students had ‘still not mastered a sprint run by High School’. Another study showed that an alarming 40% of Year 4 students have not mastered fundamental movement skills.
Why does it matter?
A lack of physical activity has also been linked to an increased risk of conditions such as non-insulin dependent diabetes, hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, colon cancer and depression- not to mention there has been research to suggest a direct correlation exists between physical activity and improved brain activity.
With an increasingly crowded curriculum and a lack of funds, incentives and resources for teaching staff- it seems that sport and physical education is at risk of being pushed off the agenda of Australian Primary Schools completely. So let’s bring it back before it’s too late!
What can I do to help?