Originally published April 19, 2021 by Mirage News.
Dozens of schools across Victoria will receive a funding boost to help get kids moving as they return to school for term two, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Education James Merlino today joined Carlton AFLW star Tayla Harris to announce the 96 schools that will each receive $30,000 under the $24.2 million Active Schools program, which helps introduce a whole-school approach to physical activity.
Tayla Harris will be an ambassador for Active Schools, visiting schools around the state and doing other promotional work to further showcase the physical and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle.
Schools can use the funding to upskill their Physical Education teachers, purchase sports equipment, or engage local organisations and clubs to deliver sporting programs.
Schools will also be able to buy fitness equipment, make classrooms more active, encourage greater active travel to and from school through bicycle education programs, upgrade playgrounds, install sensory play areas and provide opportunities to students to do more recreation activities such as mountain biking and kayaking.
Active Schools is designed to provide more opportunities for physical activity, sport and active recreation for Victorian students, helping them develop healthy lifelong habits. As part of the wider package:
- all schools will have access to a new toolkit with tips and tricks to make their school and kids more active
- a new team of physical education leaders will provide on-the-ground advice and support to more than 800 schools to improve their approach to sport, physical education and physical activity
- new approaches to increasing activity will be trialled through several partnerships, including working with the start-up community to explore how technology can get teens moving and adapting Deakin University’s Transform-Us! program for secondary schools to get teenagers moving more and sitting less
- a state-wide communications campaign will encourage children and their families to be more active and promote the importance of physical activity
As part of the program, 300 disadvantaged government schools received an Active Schools PE and Sport Funding Boost in term one this year to support them with the costs of physical education, sport and outdoor education.
In addition, 181 disadvantaged government secondary schools also received a funding boost to support the costs of providing extracurricular physical activity opportunities.
Further funding boosts will be provided to disadvantaged government schools again in 2022 to continue supporting students to be active.
As stated by Acting Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino, “Sport and recreation are central to our way of life. These grants will help make sure more young people can get the best start in life with an education linked to active and healthy lifestyles.”
“The evidence is clear – active kids are happy, healthy and resilient kids, who are able to focus more in class. That’s why we are investing $24.2 million in the creation of Active Schools.”