Kids in Australia are becoming some of the least active children in the world; however, Michael Clarke wants to change that status quo – he has a million dollar giveaway.
The first comprehensive snapshot of Australia’s sporting habits found only two per cent of children are active every day outside school hours. This inactivity is a reality despite the fact that health guidelines ruling infants to 18-years-old must be active for at least 60 minutes every day.
According to the data, Australian kids can’t throw, can’t catch, can’t run and can’t jump.
But Clarke is determined to change this.
“I think it is paramount for all of us to get ourselves and our kids outside and get them active,” Clarke said on the Today Show.
The former cricket captain has teamed up with the Australian Sports Foundation and Spartan Sports, who he is an ambassador for, to give away $1 million worth of product and equipment to get kids playing sport.
“Australia is an amazing country with great facilities and perfect weather. Our children and youth should be outdoors swinging a cricket bat, catching a netball, kicking a football or shooting hoops,” Clarke said.
Clarke stated that screen time is certainly a factor in the decline of sports, but parents can change that. “I think it is about pushing kids to be healthy and active and saying, ‘It is important for your health to do some activity’,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be cricket, AFL or Rugby League or netball. It could be taking the dog for a walk. Go for a swim. It can be absolutely anything.”
He said he hoped that by giving equipment to clubs across Australia that would take the burden of cost out of the equation.
Spartan Sports MD Kunal Sharma said the aim of their equipment giveaway was to stop the excuses.“Enough is enough. These are alarming statistics, and it only appears to be getting worse. That is why Spartan is doing something about it. We want to take excuses out of the equation,” Sharma said.