Physical literacy work shortlisted for Engagement Australia Excellence Awards

Work led by Sport Australia to define physical literacy to help Australians lead more active lives has been named as a finalist in the Engagement Australia 2021 Excellence Awards.

Sport Australia commissioned a research group of 18 academics in 2016 to define physical literacy and develop an Australian Physical Literacy Framework.

The research team included Dr Dean Dudley of Macquarie University, Deakin University’s Dr Lisa Barnett and Dr Richard Keegan from the University of Canberra and the Framework and a Position Statement was launched in 2019.

The Framework promotes a shared vision, common language and consistent understanding about what physical literacy is, which is defined as developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours that give us the confidence and motivation to lead active lives, and how it can be developed.

The Framework has been endorsed by more than 60 sport and physical activity providers and peak government bodies, and its accompanying resources used nationally and internationally in schools and sports organisations. The resources include a video, Physical Literacy Toolkit for schools and resources for sporting clubs and in 2021, this collaboration developed the first Australian tool for measuring children’s physical literacy, now distributed to 15 countries.

The work is a finalist in the Outstanding Engagement for Research Impact category, which recognises excellence in research and development activity undertaken by researchers and community, business or industry partners.

Sport Australia Acting CEO Rob Dalton said the work has supported many national sporting organisations to prioritise and embed physical literacy into their participation strategies and products.

“This has been an incredible team effort and I’d like to thank the many staff, both current and former, that helped deliver this important work,” Mr Dalton said.

“Physical literacy is key to creating a healthier generation of more active Australians and we’re incredibly proud of the substantial impact it has had on the Australian community.

“It underpins so much of what we do, from our Sporting Schools Plus program, Playing for Life Activity cards to Game Plan, we’re using the Framework to support Australians of all ages and life stages to develop their physical literacy and lead happier, healthier lives.”

“We are also grateful for the collaborative approach with Dr Dudley, Dr Barnett and Dr Keegan and we look forward to continuing to work with these leading researchers to support the concept of physical literacy in Australia.”

107 submissions were received from 35 universities across Australia and New Zealand for this year’s awards and winners will be announced online on 30 November.

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