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It’s ‘Game On’ for a new ARU game for Sporting Schools

Australian Rugby Union Sporting Schools launch

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) is tackling children’s participation in sport with a new Sporting Schools pilot called Game On, which is designed to help schools increase the number of students playing sport.

The pilot is part of the Australian Government’s plan to get more children active and healthy through its $100 million Sporting Schools programme before, during or after school hours.

ARU General Manager, Rugby Participation, Andrew Larratt said the GAME ON programme is aimed at promoting fair play, diversity and inclusion through the basic principles of Rugby.

“The objective of GAME ON is to educate students about the values of Rugby – those being teamwork, passion, integrity, respect and discipline,” Mr Larratt said.

“Rugby teaches children to develop skills both in the classroom and on the field that will serve them well, not only in their Rugby development but more importantly in choosing a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

“Rugby is a game for boys and girls, and GAME ON is suitable for all students delivered in a five-week programme which will give them the chance to get outdoors and hone their skills on the field,” said Larratt.

After five weeks of introductory Rugby lessons, the GAME ON programme culminates with a Carnival hosted by the school where its students will play organised matches in Australian Rugby’s new modified, non-contact version of Sevens Rugby, ‘VIVA7s’.

Member for Hume, Mr Angus Taylor MP launched GAME ON, with students at the Brindabella Christian College in Canberra.

Mr Taylor said the $100 million Sporting Schools programme is Australia’s largest school-based participation initiative for children across the country.

“Rugby Union is such an iconic Australian sport, and like all Sporting Schools programmes, a fantastic way for Australian children to have fun while getting physically active,” Mr Taylor said.

“Children right across Australia should have equal access to healthy lifestyle choices, no matter whether they live in regional towns or capital cities. This investment will help bring schools and sports such as rugby union together to provide a supportive environment that encourages participation for more than 850,000 Australian children,” said Mr Taylor.

Each year more than 5,700 schools will be funded through Sporting Schools for the practical delivery of sports activities that suit their local needs.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Simon Hollingsworth said the opening of the first funding round has already attracted huge interest from schools that have already registered online and with Sporting Schools.

“The programme is the link to get sporting bodies working together with schools to develop a supportive environment for Australian children.

“We are excited to be partnering with ARU as well as many of Australia’s key participation sports whether it’s golf, tennis or AFL, to develop the Sporting Schools programme,” Mr Hollingsworth said.

 “Sporting Schools is geared to get children active, engaged and having fun while at the same time children learn about positive leadership skills, physical skills and greater community engagement,” Mr Hollingsworth said.

The Sporting Schools pilot programmes involve 12 sports with more to be rolled out over June. Across the country, schools will get to choose from more than 30 sports in total from July 2015.

GAME ON will be made available to all schools as part of the Sporting Schools programme once the current pilot is completed at the end of the month.