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Australian Active After-school program gears up for 2011


According to the Australian Government, up to 190,000 children will be provided with free access to sport as part of the Active After-School Communities 2011 program.
Australian Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Mark Arbib congratulated the 3,162 schools and after-school care centres accepted in AASC for 2011 which will see many more children participating in after-school sport.
'The Active After-School program is extremely important for school children all around Australia,' Senator Arbib said.
'This program provides disadvantaged children with the opportunity to participate in physical activity after school and hopefully gain the confidence to join a sporting club and develop their skills.'
'It is free to children and aims to involve the whole community – schools, families, coaches and sporting clubs.'
Schools and after-school care centres will receive $43.5 million in funding from the Australian Government to assist in delivering the program and purchasing sporting equipment for 2011.
Local sporting clubs in remote and regional areas will also have access to the funding to assist in the delivery of the program in remote and regional areas.
Senator Arbib said that the success of the program would not be possible without the skills and expertise of all the qualified coaches, supervisors and coordinators who work tirelessly to deliver the program across Australia.
'The program provides the opportunity for children to experience more than 70 different sports and activities,' Senator Arbib said.
'Students are not the only beneficiaries of this program – free training is provided to teachers, parents and sports club members in the community to become coaches in the program.'
Senator Arbib said introducing children to physical activity at a young age can have significant implications for future health costs by preventing children from requiring treatment for obesity.
'Independent assessment of the program found that before starting the program participants did less than three hours of structured physical activity each week,' Senator Arbib said.
'By introducing children to sport at a young age we can establish a life-long enjoyment of physical activity and improve their health.'
The Australian Sports Commission manages the AASC program nationally through a network of locally-based regional coordinators.
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