A Fitter not Fatter Future: d4d Releases Sport and Recreation Policy

Supporting activity and participation in sport for groups who are traditionally overlooked is at the heart of Dignity for Disability’s sport and recreation policy released today.

“Sport is a big part of Australia’s culture and a great basis for people to make friends and socialise,” said Dignity for Disability Party Leader Kelly Vincent MLC. “By supporting everybody to get involved we will create a healthier South Australia and at the same time dispel stereotypes about things such as cultural difference, sexuality and disability.

“Getting physical has benefits to the physical and mental health of individuals because participating in community activities creates connection which is essential for wellbeing. This needs to be acknowledged and supported by government. Local sports clubs need to be shown how to operate without reliance on selling fatty unhealthy foods and alcohol to raise money.

“It will be a great day in South Australia when all junior, women’s and ‘all inclusive’ sports clubs have all the money they need to operate their services and it’s the government that has to hold a sausage sizzle to fund their corporate boxes and gala dinners.”

Dignity for Disability’s sport and recreation policy has three points:

– Grass roots funding to get under-represented groups involved. “Statistics consistently show that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people from regional areas, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, people with disabilities and females – particularly middle-aged and ageing women, are less likely to participate in sport,” said Ms Vincent. “The Government needs to provide a pool of funding that grass roots and community organisations can use to welcome these people and support them to engage with sporting events and clubs.”

– On ya bike ladies. “Despite the growing popularity in cycling for fitness and transport in SA, recent statistics show that uptake is slow amongst women – with less than 7 per cent of Australian women riding regularly for transport,” said Ms Vincent. “We can address the cycling gender gap by developing a female-specific program through the Office of Recreation and Sport – and resource involvement from local bicycling advocacy networks. This could help women bike riders overcome barriers to cycling through creating support networks and encouraging peer-to-peer education.”

– Concentrate Government funding on less visible elite sports. “Women’s sport and Paralympic sport is traditionally broadcast on non-commercial channels and receives little media attention, making it much harder to attract sponsors,” said Ms Vincent. “Government should provide funding for these elite athletes to give them the same chance at international success as those who are well-financed by commercial sponsorship. There should also be investment in awareness programs and staffing for organisations involved with these athletes so they can pursue better media outcomes.”