This was formally celebrated on June 14 at Miles Franklin Primary School in Evatt, where UCRISE researchers met with school teachers, PAF representatives and ACT Education Minister Shane Rattenbury.
The objective of the Active Kids Challenge is to encourage more than 20,000 children in ACT primary schools to become more active for at least an hour a day over an eight-week period.
Under the partnership, which was first initiated last year, UCRISE will make its PLAY (Physical Literacy Activity Yearbook) resources available to teachers. These were developed at UCRISE as part of physical literacy research and provide 200 simple, fun activities that any teacher could use with their class.
The activities are described in detail, with supporting diagrams, and are designed to require minimal equipment.
“In Australia the cost of physical inactivity is estimated at up to $13 billion each year, and some extra activity every day, plus better food choices, could reduce obesity and the life-long health problems it creates,” UCRISE project co-ordinator, Dr Richard Keegan, said
UCRISE research published last year found that an alarming 25 per cent of Australian kids are overweight or obese, and that a small change, like cutting out the equivalent of one small chocolate bar and getting 15 minutes of exercise each day, could halve that rate.
Physical literacy campaigner and long distance running legend Professor Dick Telford is a key part of the UCRISE team that has been developing and enhancing the resources, with funding provided by ACT Sport and Recreation Services.
“We’re thrilled to be involved again this year because it’s such an important annual event for schools. Not only does it get kids more active but it also teaches them about the benefits of physical activity and at UCRISE we’re providing the scientific evidence to back this up,” Professor Telford said.
The Active Kids Challenge will runs for eight weeks, from July 25 to September 16, in more than 800 ACT classrooms.