Many Victorian kids and their families love footy. Not only is it a great way for young people to get active and stay healthy, it's a sport that can also help develop confidence and teamwork skills.
This has certainly proven true for students at Ardeer South Primary School in Melbourne's west, who have been kicking goals thanks to the Active Schools grant they received in early 2022.
The school fully resurfaced their oval and installed new goal posts with the grant, allowing students to get active during and outside of school hours. Interschool football is also now held on the new facilities.
Ardeer South Primary School was one of 96 schools to receive an Active Schools grant. The grants help schools improve students' physical activity levels.
Building local connections
The school partnered with the Western Bulldogs Friendly Schools Program, enabling students to participate in several sporting clinics. The students thoroughly enjoyed building skills across different sports, including football, soccer, basketball and rugby.
Through the school's involvement in the Active Schools program, they have also strengthened connections in the community. Principal Andrea Markham said the program has been a boon for the school, after many of their students had lost connections with recreational sport during remote and flexible learning.
'With the Active Schools grant, we were able to help families access external sporting activities they otherwise may not have been able to afford, creating opportunities some students may not otherwise have had,' Andrea said.
Ardeer South Primary School student Hope, who plays school footy and with the Sunshine Heights Football Club, improved her skills and confidence through the sport. She recently won the Western Bulldogs Heartland Award for her achievements and hopes to play AFLW one day.
Andrea is proud of the growth her students have experienced thanks to the Active Schools grant.
'The funding has complemented the delivery of a quality physical education curriculum. The work we have done with the funding will continue to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for our students and community well into the future.'
Building great spaces
The school decided to plant real grass on their oval instead of using synthetic turf.
We also worked with the local council to plant our very own urban forest around the perimeter of our ovals.
'The oval's fresh grass and new trees provide students and the community with a beautiful place to be active,' Andrea said.
Schools in communities experiencing disadvantage are invited to apply for an Active Schools grant for 2023.
Find out more
For more information, visit Active Schools.