Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett speaks to the media today.
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett speaks to the media today. TAHLIA STEHBENS

Bennett: Why school sport should be compulsory

MEMBER for Burnett Stephen Bennett is backing calls to make sport compulsory in Queensland schools to encourage healthier, active kids.

Mr Bennett said physical education was essential for healthy lifestyles and mental health.

"We cannot underestimate the value of sport and how it teaches kids teamwork, develops social skills, builds self-esteem and improves general health and wellbeing,” he said.

"Physical education is just as important to a child's development as subjects like English and Mathematics.”

Mr Bennett said sport outside the school system was becoming unaffordable for families.

"Cost of living pressures are placing enormous strains on families throughout the region, with some kids missing out on sporting activities altogether as a result,” he said.

"Parents are telling me that they struggle to pay sporting club fees and swimming lessons.

"That's why it's so disappointing that the state government continues to drag the chain on implementing compulsory state-funded swim and water safety lessons in our primary schools... what are they waiting for?

"We don't need any more reviews, let's get on with it and ensure our kids can at least swim.”

Mr Bennett's comments follow Federal Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie's push for state governments to make sport and physical literacy compulsory in schools.

Senator McKenzie said physical activity was not just good for kids' health and wellbeing, with research now linking it to better learning.

"Sport is a powerful platform for a whole lot of things, not just for the fun of it (and) I want to use the power of sport whenever I can,” Senator McKenzie said.



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