Graeme Jennings Highlights Impact of School Sport at International Conference in Brazil

posted on 7 June, 2024

Graeme Jennings, the Principal of Great Lakes College and President of School Sport Australia, recently served as a keynote speaker at the prestigious International School Sport Conference. The conference, held in the city of Curitiba, aimed to underscore the profound influence of school sports on student outcomes, with a particular focus on the successful models employed in Australia.

In his address, Graeme detailed the multi-faceted benefits that students gain through participation in school sports. He emphasised that sports foster essential life skills such as teamwork, resilience, goal setting, and the formation of long-lasting friendships. Graeme highlighted how these attributes are integral to the personal and academic development of students, contributing significantly to their overall success.

A key aspect of Graeme’s presentation was the emphasis on social inclusion and equity in Australian school sports. He explained how these principles have become central to the national agenda, ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, have access to sporting opportunities. This commitment to inclusivity reflects broader societal values and enhances the cohesive fabric of school communities across Australia.

Graeme provided an insightful overview of the organisational structures that underpin school sports in Australia. He described how the various state and territory systems are interconnected, feeding into the national school representative pathway managed by School Sport Australia. This pathway culminates in the School Sport Australia National Championships, a pinnacle event that showcases the nation’s top school-aged athletes.

The conference featured speakers from the five continents represented by the International School Sports Federation (ISF), where Graeme also holds the position of ISF Oceania President. This global perspective allowed for a rich exchange of ideas and best practices, with Graeme’s contributions highlighting Australia’s innovative and inclusive approach to school sports.

Graeme’s participation in the International School Sport Conference in Brazil, not only showcased the positive impact of school sports on student development but also demonstrated Australia’s leadership in fostering an inclusive and equitable sporting environment. His insights into the structured pathways and the values underpinning school sports in Australia provided valuable lessons for the global educational and sporting communities.