Indigenous sports in the federal budget

Indigenous youth are far more likely than their non-Indigenous peers to be in care, not to complete high school, to be unemployed and to suffer from poor health. Community-led sport can be a powerful tool to support Indigenous youth. It promotes social inclusion, builds self-esteem, strengthens Indigenous identity, instills a sense of pride and reduces the risks of suicide. Indigenous boys are more likely than Indigenous girls to participate in sport, with adolescence being a pivotal time for predicting whether or not girls will participate in sports as they grow older. Girls who play sports at a young age are more likely to be physically active as adults.

Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes to invest $47.5 million over five years, and $9.5 million per year ongoing, to expand the use of sport for social development in more than 300 Indigenous communities. This initiative will help to scale up a highly successful model developed by Right To Play that has led nearly 90 per cent of participants to have a more positive attitude toward school and a greater sense of identity. As this initiative is implemented, the Government will look for opportunities to profile excellence among Indigenous youth in sport.