Federal Member for Chifley, Ed Husic today released details of a new initiative to harness the excitement of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games to inspire children to participate in sport.
Mr Husic said the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Challenges would encourage children to play sport and achieve gold, silver and bronze awards.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games have provided countless memorable moments and every four years Australians are captured by the athleticism, determination and spirit of the competitors,” Mr Husic said.
“The performances of our athletes at these Games provide the foundation for the dreams and aspirations of many young sports people as they strive to emulate their heroes.
“They also encourage the values of inclusion, fair play and sportsmanship.
“I want to see as many children in the Blacktown and Mt Druitt area competing in the challenges as we can.”
The Challenges will run from 28 May 2012 until the close of the Olympics on 12 August and the Paralympics on 9 September 2012.
In the Olympic Challenge, primary school aged children can participate individually or as part of a group such as their class, school or community group. The Paralympic Challenge will build on the existing Paralympic Education Program which is designed for children to learn more about the Paralympic movement and people with disabilities in general.
Each child and group will accumulate points towards gold, silver and bronze awards based on their level of participation.
Mr Husic said the Olympic and Paralympic Challenges enhanced the Australian Government’s commitment to boosting sport in communities across the country.
“The Gillard Government provided more than $117 million in the 2011/12 Federal Budget to support participation initiatives and programs, including the $43.9 million Active After-school Communities program,” Mr Husic said.
“The Australian Government urges children to take up one of the challenges next year and follow in the footsteps of our Olympic and Paralympic heroes.”
Registrations will open in April 2012. Information will be sent to schools, out of school hours centres and other organisations who might want to take part in a Challenge. There is no cost for children, schools or other organisations to participate.
The Olympic and Paralympic Challenges are an Australian Government initiative working in partnership with the Australian Olympic Committee and the Australian Paralympic Committee.
Please visit www.olympicchallenge.gov.au or www.paralympicchallenge.gov.au to express your interest and to receive updates.