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Government failing on sports participation.

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Senator Kate Lundy Senator for the Australian Capital Territory Shadow Minister for Information Technology and Sport

Government failing on sports participation

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released this week reveal that the Howard Government is failing to deliver on its promise to increase participation in organised sport, the Shadow Minister for Sport, Senator Lundy, said today.

“The Coalition claimed that their Backing Australia’s Sporting Ability policy would ensure a greater number of Australians participating in sport - but this latest data exposes their policy as little more than hollow rhetoric”, Senator Lundy said.

“The Bureau of Statistics reveals that there has been a decline in the number of Australians involved in non-playing roles in organised sport, such as coaches, instructors, referees and administrators.

The Bureau of Statistics reported that in 2001: There were 69,900 fewer coaches and instructors, 116,800 fewer referees and umpires, and 134,400 fewer sport administrators and committee members than there had been in 1997.

“Organised sport cannot operate without the volunteers and non-players who organise, referee and administer games and activities.

“The decline in non-player participation - from 11.5% in 1997 to 9.5% in 2001 shows that the Coalition’s sport policy is not working.

“There are several factors accounting for this decline, including the Coalition’s lack of commitment to grass roots sport, their axing of vital community sport grants and the introduction of the GST, which imposed an increased level of accounting and bookkeeping.

“The Coalition’s latest Minister for Sport, Senator Kemp, must immediately address this worrying decline in participation to ensure that the trend towards inactivity and sedentary lifestyles is reversed,” Senator Lundy said.

18 January 2001 - Media Release Media Contact: Simon Tatz on 02 6277 3334 or 0418 488 295