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    Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Relations and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Tom Barton

    ELITE ATHLETES INSPIRE SCHOOL KIDS TO GET ACTIVE

    Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Relations and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Tom Barton

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    ELITE ATHLETES INSPIRE SCHOOL KIDS TO GET ACTIVE

     

    Throwing, catching, jumping and running will be the highlight of the day for hundreds of students across the eastern and bayside suburbs of Brisbane this month as they get the chance to share their playgrounds with elite athletes from the Queensland Academy of Sport.

    Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Relations and Minister for Sport Tom Barton said the QAS athletes would visit schools, including Morningside, Ormiston, Logan and Springwood as part of the State Government’s popular Get Active Queensland Schools Program.

    Mr Barton said the athletes would conduct fun activity sessions to improve agility, hand-eye coordination and teamwork, supported by healthy lifestyle presentations.

    “One of the most important messages children will take home is that getting active isn’t just about sporting prowess and winning, but having a go,” he said.

    “These visits complement the physical education syllabus and also help teachers with effective, practical strategies they can apply in the playground for years to come.

    “More than 90,000 Queensland kids have already participated in the program since its introduction in 2002 and another 150 schools are taking part this year.”

    Mr Barton said the QAS athletes were great role models and well qualified to help students hone their skills in the non-competitive schools program format.

    “Some of the athletes taking part in this year’s schedule have already represented Australia and won gold, silver and bronze medals at international events such as the Olympics, Paralympics and World Championships,” he said.

    “Others are young champions in the making, who may very well become household names at Beijing and other major sporting events in the future.”

    Mr Barton said the schools program was another demonstration of the Queensland Government’s commitment to promoting the benefits of lifelong participation in sport and active recreation from the grassroots to elite levels.

    “We want to encourage all children to have a go, have fun and get active so they can develop to their full potential,” he said.

    “Getting them involved in sport and active recreation is one of the best ways to improve their quality of life, both physically and socially.

    “In the longer term, regular physical activity greatly reduces the incidence of a whole range of chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis, so it’s important to put our kids on the right track as early as possible.”

    Mr Barton said the schools program was also a key element of the Queensland Government’s fight against childhood obesity, but called on the community as a whole to play a greater role in helping young people get active.

    “Children today miss out on hundreds of hours of physical activity a year, compared with their parents’ generation, and recent research shows most of that time has been lost outside the school gate,” he said.

    “The government is leading the way in reversing that trend, but active, healthy kids are everyone’s business and we need to address this issue as a community.

    “We need to work together to create an environment in which kids can get active wherever they live, learn and play.”

    The 2006 schools program will involve more than 40 QAS athletes, including Olympians Sandra Allen (softball) and Maxine Seear (triathlon), Paralympians Stephen Eaton (athletics), Ricardo Moffatti and Marayke Jonkers (swimming), Australian kayaker Amanda Rankin and Queensland cricketer Steven Paulsen.

    For more information about the Get Active Queensland Schools Program, including profiles of participating athletes, visit www.sportrec.qld.gov.au.

    SCHEDULE ATTACHED - MEDIA WISHING TO ATTEND THE VISITS SHOULD PHONE THE SCHOOL OFFICE.

    METROPOLITAN-EAST QUEENSLAND

    (26 April – 19 May 2006)

    Note: Athletes scheduled for school visits sometimes need to withdraw from the program due to changes in their circumstances (eg. injury, team selection). In most cases, their places are taken by other QAS athletes, but that is not always possible.

    WEEK 1

    Wednesday 26 April, Slacks Creek State School, Daisy Hill Road, Slacks Creek. Phone 3208 2211.

    Thursday 27 April, Crestmead State School, Augusta Street, Crestmead. Phone 3200 8060.

    Friday 28 April, Balmoral State High School, Cnr. Thynne and Lytton Roads, Morningside. Phone 3823 8588.

    WEEK 2

    Tuesday 2 May, Alexandra Hills State School, 12 Princeton Avenue, Alexandra Hills. Phone 3820 0333.

    Tuesday 2 May, Seven Hills State School, 152 D’Arcy Road, Seven Hills. Phone 3899 2377.

    Wednesday 3 May, Wynnum North State School, Prospect Street, Wynnum North. Phone 3893 7333.

    Wednesday 3 May, St Bernards School, 1823 Logan Road, Upper Mt. Gravatt. Phone 3849 4800.

    Thursday 4 May, Victoria Point State School, School Road, Victoria Point. Phone 3820 5666.

    Friday 5 May, Springwood State High School, 200 Springwood Road, Springwood. Phone 3380 6111.

    Week 3

    Monday 8 May, Victoria Point State High School, 93-131 Benfer Road, Victoria Point. Phone 3820 5888.

    Monday 8 May, St Ita’s Regional Primary School, 249 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park. Phone 3844 2975.

    Tuesday 9 May, Thornlands State School, Panorama Drive, Thornlands. Phone 3821 8111.

    Wednesday 10 May, Mt Gravatt State School, 1263 Logan Road, Mt Gravatt. Phone 3343 0777.

    Thursday 11 May, Ormiston State School, 82-110 Gordon Street, Ormiston. Phone 3824 9111.

    Friday, 12 May, St Stephens School, 156 Ridgewood Road, Algester. Phone 3711 4911.

    WEEK 4

    Monday, 15 May, Lindum State School, 109 North Road, Lindum. Phone 3396 5843.

    Tuesday, 16 May, Logan City Special School, 133 Wembley Road, Logan Central. Phone 3489 6333.

    Wednesday, 17 May, Springwood Road State School, Springwood Road, Springwood. Phone 3341 5133.

    Thursday, 18 May, Saints Peter and Paul’s School, 33 Alexandra Street, Bulimba. Phone 3399 1281.

    Friday, 19 May, Moreton Bay Boys College, 258-302 Manly Road, Manly West. Phone 3906 9444.

    Media inquiries: David Brewtnall – 3225 2022

    26 April 2006