By most measures Canberra is a healthy city. Over the years the ACT sporting community has helped transform me from a sickly and frail kid into someone who has played and enjoyed athletics, swimming, tennis, cycling, Aussie rules, rugby union, triathlon, netball and soccer. But Canberrans are also facing major health problems, especially when it comes to obesity and depression.
Promoting local sports is a key part of my plan to improve the well-being of the ACT. Sports participation is not only about fitness, but also building communities.
To belong to a sporting club or team is to foster a sense of identity, to learn about leadership and cooperation, to play with and against people of different ages, abilities and backgrounds.
Yet it is astonishing that the fair go that Australians are right to value so highly, so often does not apply to sports. My policies in this area aim to rectify this situation in Canberra by focusing on local and women’s sports where we can get the greatest value for our investment. This includes the following initiatives.
- Sustained increased funding for women’s elite sport and development programs with a view to a) putting them on an equal playing field with men and b) putting Canberra on the map as the global capital of women’s sport.
- Increased funding for the rejuvenation and development of sporting and recreational facilities in older suburbs.
- Ensuring that people in new suburbs and development areas have ready access to high quality sports and recreation facilities.
- A review of sports and health programs in schools and after-school care.