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Kelly calls for action on Active Australia Day



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Media Release

The Federal Minister for Sport and Tourism, Jackie Kelly, today launched the first Active Australia Day, a focus for a national program to encourage more Australians into sport and physical activity.

"We have an image of ourselves as "doers" but the reality is that our physical activity levels are plummeting,” Minister Kelly said. '"This has serious consequences for our individual and collective health, well-being and prosperity.” _

Active Australia Day, set for Sunday 10 October, is part of the broader Active Australia joint initiative between all levels of government and the sport, recreation and fitness industries.

"Just 18 months ago an Active Australia survey of physical activity habits showed less than half Australian adults were physically active to achieve any health benefits,” Ms Kelly said.

"Physical activity ranks second after tobacco control in importance as a disease prevention strategy, yet more than half the population is not reaping the benefits of regular physical activity.”

The Minister said that Active Australia Day, a pilot in this first year, would be a national day of celebration providing a focus on the benefits of sport and physical activity to communities and individuals. Its theme is: participate and feel great. ~ "

"There is a range of enthusiastic and qualified Active Australia practitioners, clubs and organisations at community level that are ready and willing to help,” Ms Kelly said. “Active Australia Day will especially link inactive Australians with opportunities for ongoing sport and physical activity participation.”

Former Australian marathon champion Rob de Castella and former tennis great Evonne Goolagong- Cawley will be patrons for the event, calling on all Australians to “get active”.

Around 60 local governments and a number of Indigenous communities across Australia have agreed to be formally involved in the Active Australia Day pilot by coordinating activities at a local level. Many other municipalities have also registered their interest.

Clubs and organisations will be encouraged to conduct an open day or mass participation events for walking, riding, running, swimming or games.

"I congratulate and commend the councils involved, along with the hundreds of accredited Active Australia Providers across the country, who will lead the way in increasing sports participation and physical activity levels of Australians,” Ms Kelly said.

Media contacts: Geoff Hawke, Australian Sports Commission, 02 6214 1828 David Pollock, Leisure Australia, 0418 699 545

Minister for Sport and Tourism

KELLY CALLS FOR ACTION ON ACTIVE AUSTRALIA DAY

Parliament House. Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6277 7080 Fax: (02) 6273 4571