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Posted by: Australian Sporting Goods Association on 08/16/2017

‘Start with young, old in activity campaigns’

‘Start with young, old in activity campaigns’

The Australian Sporting Goods Association has provided a submission to the National Sports Plan consultation run by the Australian Sports Commission.

Executive Director Shannon Walker reports that he was also interviewed directly by the Commission about ASGA’s views on what should be in the Plan, and he shares those with our Sportslink Slinki readers here:

Australia, like much of the rest of the developed world, is facing a physical inactivity crisis, contributing 6.6 percent of the overall health burden in Australia and ten percent of all deaths.

The ASGA submission calls for a national approach to combating physical inactivity, with the Government to form a small, multi-sector group (including representatives from sport, health and education), to implement the outcomes and recommendations of the National Sports Plan.

We noted the importance of physical education in schools. If we are serious about combating childhood physical inactivity, students at the primary school level require dedicated PE teachers and a minimum of 150 minutes of PE and sport each week.

The Plan must acknowledge the way Australians are undertaking sport and physical activity in the modern age. The ASC should work with national sporting organisations to assist them in developing new forms of the game, whether based on the amount of time required to participate, the number of players required, the level of competitiveness, or the types of facilities necessary to participate.

We also called for the Government to expand the Sporting Schools programme and to continue with the new AusPlay participation research.

We called on the Plan to influence city planning efforts, noting that “From a city planning standpoint, the evidence presents a strong case to design cities to be more active… Put simply, the research shows active cities are healthier, wealthier, safer, greener and more cohesive. Not surprisingly, the people who live in them are happier.” (Designed to Move: Active Cities)

We recommended the Plan call for a national physical activity advertising campaign, similar to the old ‘Life. Be in it.’ campaign, but updated for modern audiences.

Given our changing demographics, we believe the National Sports Plan must recognise older Australians as an important cohort that requires encouragement to become more physically active.

We recommended the Plan directs funding towards technological solutions that can assist sports clubs to more effectively administer themselves and manage staff and volunteers. We recommend developing closer ties with the Australian Sports Technologies Network to facilitate these outcomes.

Both a national sports facilities audit and a national agency to direct infrastructure spending should be considered by the Plan. We also want to see all schools that receive government funding be required to open their sports facilities to community use.

While we oppose a national lottery for sports funding, if a lottery is adopted the funds generated should be directed to participation and prevention programs, not elite sports.

We suggested the Australian Sports Foundation should play a larger role, that the Government investigate ways to reduce costs for participants and that the government change the Fringe Benefit Tax to allow businesses to reward their staff with gym memberships or personal training opportunities.

• Walker thanked all members “who contributed to the ASGA submission or who made your own submissions to the National Sports Plan. We look forward to working with the government and the Sports Commission to implement the Plan when it is finalised.”