ASGA backs call for school sport

The Australian Sporting Goods Association has backed the call by Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates for improvements to school sport.

This would foster the next generation of elite athletes and improve health and fitness outcomes for Aussie kids, he said in an ABC radio interview from London.

Assessing Australia's performance in London, John Coates says one area the federal government needs to examine is compulsory school sport.

Speaking to AM reporter Lisa Miller, he says, "Perhaps the area that needs a lot of attention – and if not, funding and government intention in terms of policy – is getting sport back into the school curricula."

ASGA’s Executive Director Shannon Walker agrees, saying “These Olympics may well prove to be a watershed moment in Australian sporting history.

“We have an opportunity now to reflect on how we fund sports in this country and I agree with John Coates that we need to make improvements in our school sports programmes.”

“Australia has always done well in international sporting competitions, including the Olympics and this year is no exception.

“Every Australian athlete at the Olympic Games can be proud of their achievements – just getting there is an amazing accomplishment, let alone winning a medal.”

“But sport is about more than winning gold at the Olympics. Sport in Australia brings communities together, improves health and fitness outcomes for people of all ages, employs thousands of people and, perhaps most importantly, gives enjoyment to millions of Australians every week,” he says.

“Getting more Australian children playing sport at school and in after-hours and weekend programmes makes sense from a health and fitness perspective and as the early foundation for elite sports training,” Mr Walker said

“Australia’s sporting goods sector plays an enormous role in fostering our sporting talent, from sponsorships of elite athletes to donating goods to grassroots sporting clubs.

“As a sector we look forward to continuing this discussion with policy-makers in any post-Olympics review,”  says Walker.

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