Schools, sporting clubs and sports coaches are being encouraged to register at a new Federal Government website, SportingSchools.gov.au, as part of Australia's largest school-based sports participation initiative.
“The Sporting Schools website is a one-stop-shop that will help bring schools and sports closer together,” according to the Minister for Health and Sports, Sussan Ley.
The online platform will allow schools to pick sporting programs for their students and help them find and link with local coaches and sporting organisations.
It is a key component of the Government’s new national approach to improving participation in organised sport Play.Sport.Australia.
“We know it’s vitally important that we help children right across Australia develop healthy and active habits early in life," Ms Ley said.
She said the aim of Sporting Schools is to encourage more Australian children to develop a lifelong interest in sport, with more than 5,700 schools nationally to be funded to help them provide sports activities that are relevant to the individual school. The Sporting Schools program is working closely with national sporting organisations such as the AFL, Cricket Australia, Netball Australia, Football Federation Australia and others to help individuals gain coaching qualifications, as well as to identify existing qualified coaches who wish to be involved in the program.
Also included in the website is a ‘find a local coach or sporting program provider’ that coaches can register for. All coaches will go through an approval process and have the appropriate working with children checks.
Teachers can also register individually to receive access to coaching plans and tools to help them plan and run activities outside of Sporting Schools practical sessions.
Sporting Schools pilot programs involving 12 sports are being rolled out over the next few months, with the program to include more than 30 sports from July. Schools may apply for grants from May.
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Further information: sportingschools.gov.au