A Brisbane Olympics would be used to save a generation of kids from obesity and get them into organised sport, the AOC says.
A Brisbane Olympics would be used to save a generation of kids from obesity and get them into organised sport, the AOC says.

How Olympics could change the lives of our children

A Brisbane Olympics would be used to save a generation of kids from obesity and get them into organised sport, the AOC says, as it pushes State and Federal Governments to increase funding for grassroots competitions and bring back proper physical education programs to schools.

Despite Australia's proud sporting reputation that helped Brisbane this week secure "preferred candidate" status with the IOC for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said some schools had limited phys-ed classes to nothing more than a walk around the oval.

The AOC has warned all levels of government that publicity campaigns talking up exercise have not worked to get kids moving or turn back the obesity epidemic.

Mr Carroll said organised sport gave kids physical and mental confidence, taught them lessons like perseverance, winning and losing and how to bounce back from adversity.

One of the pillars of the pitch that convinced the IOC to talk exclusively to Brisbane about the 2032 Games was to "develop a healthier lifestyle and increase sports participation" in Queensland.

Mr Carroll said getting primary-aged kids into sport set them up for lifelong activity.

"It's like anything else in life, it's about setting habits early," Mr Carroll said.

"And I'm not talking about recreation hours where they go for a walk around the block and that's sadly, I'm told, what happens in some schools where 'we'll just go to the oval and sit'.

"That's where it is important to get physical education teachers back into primary schools.

"That's not sport, that's not the discipline of sport.

"It's about making the effort, it's about striving, it's about resilience, it's about failing and picking yourself up and getting yourself going again. It's not just the physical side."

Mr Carroll said every dollar spent on community sport was stretched to $6 thanks to volunteers.

The State Government, which is a partner in the Games push, plans to tip millions of dollars in to building world-class sporting facilities to get Queensland kids off the couch and into community sport.

New sporting facilities are expected to be created at the same pace as city-building transport infrastructure.

Now the push is on to ensure the next generation of children live healthy and active lifestyles.

In Queensland, 24 per cent of children aged between 5 and 17 are considered overweight or obese.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said naming the southeast as an Olympic region would inspire the next generation of young Queenslanders to get involved in sport.

 

 

"Nothing could get the kids of Queensland moving like the excitement of an Olympic Games," she said.

"We often talk about the hundreds of thousands of jobs, the huge windfall for businesses and the new infrastructure that an event like this would generate.

"But one of the greatest legacies of a Queensland Olympics could be a boom in grassroots sport.

"If we end up securing the Olympics, this is a great opportunity to get thousands more Queenslanders involved in sport."

Queensland Sport CEO Peter Cummiskey said the prospect of a home Olympics would "be the making of Brisbane as a world-class city".

"It's the chance to realise dreams," he said.

"Every Olympics has a story of a young person who dreamt of wearing gold.

"These things have a habit of encouraging interest in sport generally."

Mr Cummiskey said Games would deliver worthwhile flow-one effects to the next generation - which is less likely to be active than previous ones.

"The push is on for more physical activity by more people in the community, not just in organised sports but in individualised recreation," he said.

Mr Cummiskey said it was vital the three levels of government joined forces to invest in grassroots sport.

The Commonwealth Games, hosted on the Gold Coast in 2018, resulted in more than $2.3m being invested into sport and lifestyle programs across the country.

About 20,000 sports assets were gifted to more than 100 Queensland sporting organisations and communities.

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as How Brisbane Olympics could change the lives of Qld kids


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