Barnaby Joyce welcomes sporting schools in the New England Electorate

23 Jul 2015

23 July 2015


FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said 31 schools in the New England Electorate had signed up to be a part of Sporting Schools, the biggest change to school sport in over a decade as part of a $100 million Abbott Government initiative to keep them fit, healthy and happy.


Mr Joyce said Sporting Schools was launched on Monday 20 July and schools in the Electorate could now take part in the participation-focussed programme.


“This is one of the Abbott Government’s cornerstone preventative health programmes aimed to improve our children’s health through getting more kids involved in physical activity,” he said.


“Being involved in this new programme will expand sporting opportunities for children before, during and after school hours at New England Electorate primary schools.


“Sporting Schools is designed to deliver sports in line with local schools’ needs and ultimately to get the children of the New England Electorate active, engaged and having fun through sport, more often.”


A quarter of Australian children are now overweight or obese and many more lack the basic skills like running, catching, throwing and kicking needed in everyday life.


Mr Joyce said three-quarters of Australian kids spend their spare time watching television, yet only one third of children are managing the recommended hour of physical activity a day. Only half of our kids are involved in sport.


“That’s why our new Sporting Schools programme is so important to ensuring current and future generations of Australian kids keep fit, healthy and happy.”


Annually 13,000 deaths in Australia were attributed to physical inactivity and Sporting Schools was a core foundation of the Abbott Government’s Play.Sport.Australia. Strategy to improve participation in organised sport for people of all ages.


The Sporting Schools announcement is also supported by the release of a new online guide offering parents tips on how best to nurture their child’s interest in taking up a sport, as well as maintaining it as they get older.


The Australian Institute of Sport has also developed a new online guide offering tips to parents about how they can nurture their child’s growing interest in sport and convert it into a life-time love of participation. It was launched today in conjunction with the start of Sporting Schools. 


Schools could still sign up for the Sporting Schools programme at, where a link to the online guide for parents is also available.


Schools in the New England Electorate that have signed up for the programme include: Armidale City Public School, Ashford Central School, Bald Blair Public School,

Barraba Central School, Black Mountain Public School, Blackville Public School, Calrossy Anglican School, Carroll Public School, Chandler Public School, Curlewis Public School, Currabubula Public School, Gunnedah Public School, Hillvue Public School, Kingstown Public School, Moonbi Public School, Nemingha Public School, Niangala Public School, Premer Public School, Red Range Public School, Ross Hill Public School, Somerton Public School, St John’s Junior School, St Joseph’s Primary School, St Joseph’s School, St Mary's Catholic Primary School, The Armidale Waldorf School, Timbumburi Public School, Tintinhull Public School, Urbenville Public School, Walcha Public School, Yetman Public School.


Five tips to nurture your child’s sporting development


TIP 1: Foster a full range of fundamental movement skills. This includes kicking or hitting a ball, running, jumping, climbing and basic aquatic skills.
TIP 2: Promote play by setting up diverse and stimulating environments at home. Use a variety of areas around the home, like the backyard or even the hallway, to play. Provide a variety of sports equipment. Encourage ambidexterity (use of limbs on both sides of the body).
TIP 3: Foster everyday sport activity at home and be an effective support provider. Limit screen time at home. Provide a positive encouragement for sporting activity and get involved.
TIP 4: Insist on the right sport format and equipment. Sporting Schools provides a great choice of appropriate sport formats for primary school children that are lots of fun. Buy the right sized equipment.
TIP 5: Sample and have fun! Resist the temptation for your child to specialise in one sport too early. Sampling a large range of sports, at least until the age of 15, is likely to assist the development of a full range of sporting skills, coordination and control. It also minimises the risks of overuse injuries and allows kids to work out which sports they like most.


Send an Enquiry