New campaign to highlight local sporting clubs and benefits of participation for kids*

The Australian Sports Commission has launched a nationwide campaign aimed at getting kids involved in club sports.

Themed ‘Play for life ... join a sporting club’, the campaign features a website with a club locator, helping families easily identify the sporting clubs in their local community. Visit ausport.gov.au/findaclub

Matt Miller, CEO of the Australian Sports Commission, said there are around one million children aged between five and 14 years who do not play any organised sport.

“Many families try a sport once and if the child doesn’t like it they give up,” he said. “But there’s a sport for everyone – the key is to find a sport that children enjoy. There are so many options available today – bowls, archery, golf, handball, to the more traditional sports we associate with children such as cricket, tennis, football and netball.”

The campaign is taking sporting experiences right around Australia.

Up to 150 events are being held to highlight the variety of local sports available. Children in metro, regional and remote areas will experience a fun, free and safe introduction to a range of sports and physical activities.

It has had strong support and endorsement not only from sporting organisations, but also from schools, health professionals, child psychologists and counsellors, and the media.

Highly respected psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg says that after 20 years of working as a child and adolescent psychologist, he is absolutely convinced of the benefits of club sport for children.

“I congratulate the Australian Sports Commission on this campaign and encourage all Australians to embrace it,” he said.

There are many opportunities for local councils to get involved in the campaign.

To request a CD with a range of useful campaign materials you can implement in your area, or to order copies of the campaign brochure or poster for display in council facilities such as local libraries, email playforlife@ausport.gov.au or visit www.ausport.gov.au/findaclub.