Spring into school holidays

‘I love sport because it’s fun and it makes me feel like I have achieved something.’

School holidays are fast approaching — the perfect time for young people to put down their screens and reap the many vital physical and mental health benefits that only a tumble in the grass, a run in a park and a hit of the ball can bring.

One young person who will be enjoying some outside physical fun is 12-year-old Rosanna Golf Links Primary School student and football champ Caleb Karavas.

Caleb played in the forward pocket in Victorian under 12s team in the School Sport Australia carnival in Darwin in August. The Victorian team defeated their South Australian opponents 10.13.73 to 2.5.17 to win the Grand Final.  

‘When I know I have a game of footy or basketball coming up I feel excited and energised,’ Caleb says.

‘Without footy and basketball it would be hard for me to keep fit and healthy. 
‘I love sport because it’s fun and it makes me feel like I have achieved something.’
‘Sport is definitely the highlight of my day.’

Learning the value of being physically active

Golf Links Primary School Principal Kelly Morrow says education is about the whole person, and students who are physically active are both physically and mentally healthy, which supports and enables learning. ‘It’s very important for young people to take a break during school holidays and be outside and active,’ Ms Morrow says.

‘You can see the clear connection to physically active children and resilience, both within the school and often outside the learning setting.

‘It isn’t just exercise — it is about being outside and stimulated by the environment and people you meet.’

Healthy, healthy and resilient kids in the Education State

Physical activity is vital for increased health and fitness, developing coordination and motor skills, and has a positive effect on general wellbeing including mental health and social development.

One of the State Government’s 10 new education targets is for the proportion of students doing physical activity for an hour a day, five times a week to increase by 20 per cent, by 2025. Education Minister James Merlino says participating in sport provides young people with social, cultural and educational opportunities.

‘Sport is about more than what happens on the field, at the crease or in the pool,’ Minister Merlino says.

‘Sport teaches our kids discipline and teamwork, and promotes a healthy lifestyle.

‘Sport enhances student engagement and alertness in the classroom and spending more time being active will help kids establish healthy habits for the rest of their lives.’

School Sport Victoria conducts more than 10,000 sports events in schools across Victoria every year, giving more than 500,000 Victorian students the chance to participate in quality sporting activities.

Caleb’s mum, Mrs Karavas, attests to the positive benefits of sport.  ‘It is great to see how happy Caleb is when he is playing both football and basketball,’ she says.

‘He loves sports, but most of all he loves being outside with a team and with his mates, or just being at home playing in the backyard with his brother. Without Caleb’s love of all sports, I am sure he would be less active and ultimately less happy.’

For more information on Happy, healthy and resilient kids, visit Target Health and Happy