The Federal Government has found a new way to keep kids active. John Seroukas reports.

It’s no secret that Australian children are getting fatter.

So much so that approximately 25 per cent of young Australians are overweight. In NSW alone, the figure is a staggering 52.5 per cent – that’s 3.3 million kids.

The Federal Government’s Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has responded by launching Sporting Schools, which is an initiative to strengthen the connection between schools and sport.

Schools will receive grants, which will go towards sporting equipment and professional coaching for students.

The Federal Minister for Sport and Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, has praised the initiative.

“[It] is a great way to get children right across Australia excited about active lifestyles whether it’s before, during or after school,” she said.

Beginning in term three of this year, Sporting Schools will allocate $134 million to more than 5 700 schools, reaching an estimated 850 000 kids. This is an effort by the Abbott Government to nurture healthy lifestyle habits amongst current and future generations of Australian students.

According to Minister Ley, “We want Australian kids to benefit from the positive health and well-being outcomes that come from an active lifestyle and are developed through a lifelong interest in sport.”

Sporting Schools will work in conjunction with more than 30 sporting organisations such as Football Federation Australia and National Rugby League. Courses will also be supervised by coaches who are qualified in their respective field, giving students high-quality coaching.

The programme will adopt a “Playing for Life” philosophy, which means the emphasis is on skills rather than drills.

Sporting Schools also aims to be informative and accessible to as many students as possible.

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