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Olympians inspire children to get active

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SENATOR THE HON MARK ARBIB Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Minister for Sport Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness


June 23 2011


Minister for Sport Mark Arbib today joined Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates and three Olympic gold medallists to talk to 200 school students at St Clare’s College in Canberra for Olympic Day.

Olympic Day brings together people from around the world to celebrate the Olympic Games and Olympic values - something Hockeyroo Nikki Hudson and rowers Scott Brennan and David Crawshay were able to illustrate.

“Sport is huge part of our Australian culture. Our Olympic athletes are an inspiration to children all around the world and encourage more children to take part in sport,” Senator Arbib said.

“Every Australian athlete we put on a podium at the Olympics Games becomes a role model and a source of inspiration for our kids.

“I believe London 2012 provides us with a great opportunity to get more kids playing sport, more volunteers helping at events and more coaches passing on their skills to our children.

“Which is why the Government is working in partnership with the Australian Olympic Committee to capitalise on the excitement and inspiration generated by the London Games.

“There is no event in the world - sporting or otherwise - that has the capacity to motivate and inspire people, than the Olympic Games.”

Senator Arbib said the AOC and its athletes would help drive participation in sport and it was fantastic to have Olympic rowers Scott Brennan and David Crawshay and former Hockeyroo Nikki Hudson attend the event.

“Before representing their country at the Olympics, the athletes were just like the children here today. They were members of their little athletics team, at their swimming club or of their local hockey side,” Senator Arbib said.

“The Olympic athletes here today know that participation in sport at a grass-roots level is vital - it keeps our children active and healthy, while teaching life-long values such as teamwork, fair play and equality.

“With determination and dedication and the right values these athletes reached the pinnacle of their chosen sport.

“They are heroes not just for their medals, but for the way they conduct themselves on and off the field. Their values and behaviour are important to people of all ages.”

Senator Arbib said the Gillard Government had committed almost $44 million in last month’s Budget to continue the Active After-school Communities program, which helps hundreds of thousands of kids get active and develop a love of sport.

“The Government is dedicated to getting kids off the couch and down to their local sporting club or playing with their friends in the backyard, much like our Olympic athletes did in their childhoods,” he said.

“We have continued to build on our strong commitment to increasing sport in communities across the country by providing more than $128 million in the 2011/12 Federal Budget to support participation initiatives and programs.”