Australian Football: Leading Children's Fundamental Movement and Sporting Skill Development.
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This chapter critically analyses Australian football’s significance within the early years of primary schools. Recent research has reported that Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) of Australian children has regressed over the last 30 years (Craw, 2015) and that many children enter secondary school with limited FMS (Barnett et al., 2013). Furthermore, the recent Review of the Australian Curriculum (Australian Government, 2014) recommended that the key learning area of ‘Health and Physical Education’ be only taught informally during early years of primary school and begin formally in Year 3. However, despite these alarming reports research also indicates strong primary school principal desire for physical education beginning from the Foundation year of primary schools (Lynch, 2015). Hence, there appears to be a gap in children being ‘physically educated’ in the early years of Australian primary schools (5-7 years) and an identified need, which does create an opportunity for the traditionally popular and highly skilled sport of Australian Rules football.
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