With so many Australians not getting enough physical activity to benefit their health, we at Suncoast Christian College looking to new ways to encourage, motivate our young people to be more active and more healthy.
What is Health and Physical Education Week?
This past week, Suncoast participated in HPE Week – an event held by the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER). Described by ACPHER Queensland, HPE Week “celebrates the role of Health & Physical Education in schools and communities. The aim is to promote the importance of HPE in the Australian Curriculum and highlight the importance of HPE to the learning and development of children and young people.” 
Over the week, our Secondary Health & Physical Education (HPE) Department were in full swing providing students a variety of physical activity opportunities during both class and lunch times.
Why Health and Physical Education Week?
During the academic year, our students are provided numerous opportunities to represent the College at Sunshine Coast Independent School Sports Association (SCISSA) inter-school carnivals, but it’s often the day-to-day activities that we often neglect – those incidental activities we don’t see as being as “valuable” for our health. HPE Week has, therefore, been a great way to encourage students to increase their activity through play, and skill development. It’s also been a gateway to learning about teamwork, fair play, and overall wellbeing.
Reduce the health risk factors
While we are all aware of the importance of physical activity, some of the statistics are sobering – with children aged 5-12 years and young people aged 13-17 years needed to accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity every day. The problem is, however, that children and young people (aged 2–17) however seem to be exercising less than is recommended as the ABS reports: “In 2011–12, an estimated 39% of children aged 2–5 did less than the recommended 180 minutes of physical activity each day; 74%of children aged 5–12 and 92% of young people aged 13–17 did not complete 60 minutes of moderate” 
The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare further reiterates this message: “Insufficient physical activity is a key risk factor contributing to disease burden in Australia. Given the role it plays in chronic conditions, it is important for Australians to achieve the optimal levels of physical activity” 
Let’s get physical
Suncoast Christian College Principal, Greg Mattiske comments: “The benefits of physical activity are pretty clear, so we are especially keen to balance students’ academic performance with physical activity and to educate them on the importance of healthy eating.”
So during HPW Week, Suncoast has been trialling several new sports, which will be added to the HPE curriculum during 2019. These sports have been a real hit with students and include; archery, spike ball¸ speedminton, OzTag, and volleyball.
 (Australia’s Health 2018 – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/2fe90038-73c3-40bd-9273-8f7d3e42a277/aihw-aus-221-chapter-4-8.pdf.aspx)