Olympic Rugby Sevens gold medal star Ellia Green made a special trip out west this week to inspire more young boys and girls to start playing rugby.
Alongside Minister for Health and Sport Sussan Ley and the students of Parkview Public School in Leeton, NSW, Ellia celebrated one year of Sporting Schools – the ASC initiative that is bringing rugby’s primary school program ‘Game On’ to school students around the country.
With over 6,000 schools around the country now signed up for Sporting Schools, more young boys and girls than ever before have the chance to learn how to play rugby so they can follow their dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal just like Ellia.
“I didn’t grow up playing rugby,” said Ellia. “I started playing about four years ago when I was 19, but I would have loved the opportunity to play rugby with my friends at school.
“Game On is a great way for kids to get involved in rugby, and learn how to play VIVA7s before they progress to contact 7s.
“All the kids have been saying they saw us on TV at the Olympics, so it’s good to know they’re already rugby fans.”Minister for Health and Sport, Sussan Ley said there had been an overwhelming response to the Sporting Schools program since it began a year ago, with more than 6,000 schools already registered for this $100 million Australian Government initiative and 5,000 schools already funded.
“With the additional $60 million the Turnbull Government is investing into this national program to expand its reach to years seven and eight, we anticipate the uptake will be just as enthusiastic,” she said.
“We know that only one third of children do the recommended hour of physical activity every day.
“That’s where Sporting Schools is significantly changing this activity level so that Australia’s children are getting out, moving and playing with their friends, exercising their fundamental movement skills and developing skills for life, including resilience, respect and teamwork.
“The key driver of the Sporting Schools program is to get children committed to a life-long love of sport, which we know has enormously positive benefits for their health and well-being now and for the rest of their lives.”
Australian Sports Commission CEO, Simon Hollingsworth says the choice in sport for children is an important part of their pathway to a lifelong commitment to sport.
“By being able to select different sports children are able to exercise different fundamental movement skills and work together in different team work settings all of which contributes to a positive and fun environment for children.”