Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 August 2010) . . Page.. 3808 ..
It is one of those sports that you can play mixed. You can play in men’s and women’s teams. It is something that many people play well into their maturing years. Basketball is one of those sports that you can continue playing for a long time. The Weston Creek Woden Dodgers, when I played for Wanniassa Eveready, were one of those teams that were always very professional, always very hard to beat, because they had such a fantastic program.
In summary, there are a lot of challenges for junior sport in the ACT. We acknowledge those. We as policy makers need to be conscious of those. We need to work hard to work through those for junior sport, but we should also acknowledge that this is about the community. The community makes these things happen. It is up to government to get behind them as best it can. (Time expired.)
MR BARR: (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (4.34): I thank Mr Seselja for bringing on this MPI. It is, indeed, a very important topic. As Australia’s only minister for sport and minister for education, I am in a unique position to appreciate the importance of getting young Canberrans into physical activity and into sport. There is a massive body of research that shows that physical activity in all forms is good for kids. It shows that physical activity has an immediate impact on the students’ ability to learn. We all know that kids who are physically active are more likely to grow up into healthy, active adults.
That is why I launched the minister’s physical activity challenge. That is why I established the Children’s Physical Activity Foundation. The ACT government has provided $650,000 in funding towards the physical activity foundation, and the foundation is, in turn, providing schools with financial support to access sporting equipment and to provide sporting programs.
That is why, also, as minister for education and minister for sport, I funded a special team of physical education consultants to work with schools to deliver high-quality PE programs. The physical activity challenge this year is having its biggest year ever, with 19½ thousand students across 51 public, 11 Catholic and six independent schools taking part. Schools which successfully complete the challenge will share in total prizes worth up to $110,000. Individual schools can win packs of sporting goods worth between $600 and $1,200, depending on the size of the school and the proportion of students taking part in the challenge.
To successfully complete the challenge, students need to find an extra 30 minutes a day on top of their daily PE lesson. I have been doing my best to encourage students and schools to take part in the challenge by going along and being part of it myself. I visited a number of schools—St Clare of Assisi, St Monica’s, girls grammar, Red Hill primary school amongst a large number of schools—and I hope to get to about 15 during the course of the challenge. I will keep on doing that each and every year that I am minister for sport and minister for education.
I believe the challenge is important, as it incorporates sport, but it also shows young Canberrans that they can build physical activity into their daily lives. Activities such as walking or riding to school, playing games at lunch-time or after school, or even