Premier’s Sporting Challenge clocks up almost 20,000 years of exercise in a Decade Featured


The NSW Premier’s Sporting Challenge will mark its 10th anniversary this week
(Wednesday, May 24) having clocked up 19,265 years of physical activity by its 2.4 million
student participants across the decade.
In its first year in 2008 the Premier’s Sporting Challenge was completed by about 74,000
students from 404 schools.
The program’s popularity has grown exponentially and this year more than 1500 schools,
350,000 students and 10,000 teachers will take part in the annual exercise challenge.
The Premier’s Sporting Challenge was established in 2008 to promote the importance of
daily physical activity, not just for fitness but overall health and wellbeing. Students at
participating schools record their daily activity during a 10-week period during terms 2 and 3.
“The NSW Government is committed to improving the wellbeing of the state’s young people,
and the Premier’s Sporting Challenge has played an important part in this objective,”
Education Minister Rob Stokes said.
“Congratulations to all 2.4 million participants in the challenge since it began in 2008 – they
have all taken a positive step to improve their health.”
Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend children and
young people undertake at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every
day.
Students who reach that target in the Premier’s Sporting Challenge receive a Gold Award
which is the most common achievement of most participants.
Research shows the benefits of exercise are about more than being fit. Exercise has been
shown to improve students’ ability to focus and concentrate and lift their general mood. It
also provides a chance for students to make friends, learn about teamwork and to build
resilience.
The program’s 10th anniversary will be marked at a gala event at Sydney’s Olympic Park on
Wednesday, May 24, with the Secretary of the Department of Education, Mark Scott, and a
group of elite athletes and Olympians who are public education alumni and now volunteer as
Premier’s Sporting Challenge Ambassadors.
Students and representatives from 10 of the 149 schools who have been involved with the
sporting challenge since its inception will also be present at the ceremony.
Among the original participating schools is Molong Central School, a school of 480 primary
and high school students in the town of Molong, halfway between Parkes and Bathurst.
School principal Michelle Barrett said the Premier’s Sporting Challenge was a highlight of the
school’s calendar.
“In regional schools we are always looking for opportunities to grow strong leaders in and we
see the sporting challenge as a chance for our older students to take on a leadership role
with our primary-aged children,” Mrs Barrett said.
She said it also helped inspire older students to take on coaching and mentoring roles within
community sports organisations

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