Second annual Handball Championships return to inspire children
20 June, Melbourne – Camp Australia, the country’s largest provider of Outside School Hours Care, hosted Australia’s largest handball competition, also known regionally as downball and four-square, for the second year in a row.
This Sunday’s regional finals saw over 350 children, between the ages of 5-12, come together across 10 locations around the country, to compete for a share in the $10,000 prize pool. Participants were winners of Camp Australia’s in-service championships held during the Autumn school holidays and throughout Term 2. Over 20,000 total children participated in the championships.
While designed to be fun and entertaining, the Handball Championships are a key motivator to get school aged children active and excited about sport following the impacts of last year’s COVID lockdowns.
In December 2021, Camp Australia conducted research with over 3,000 parents to understand the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on children in Australia.
68% of parents reported their child had been impacted by a decrease in physical wellbeing and a lack of participation in sports. 73% reported their child felt disconnected from friendship groups due to COVID restrictions.
In response, Camp Australia launched the Handball Championships to make a positive impact on the long-term mental and physical wellbeing of children.
Camp Australia Chief Executive Officer, Warren Jacobson said: “It is so important to prize children away from screens and get them active and excited about any kind of sport again.
“Our research showed lockdowns had a significant impact on children’s physical wellbeing with a big increase in their screen time. It’s clear children are still dealing with the lingering lockdown effects.
“The Handball Championships is one way we can combat the long-term impacts of disconnection and inactivity, and in this way contribute to making a difference to children, parents and the community.
“We’re also thrilled to announce that we have had several sporting great step ups to offer their support and messages of encouragement to inspire the next generation of athletes, including Carlton Football Club’s Mitch McGovern, and AFLW superstar Kara Antonio.
“I’m so pleased to support children getting excited about picking up a ball and playing sport after an incredibly difficult two years. All it takes is one event like this to set someone up for a lifetime of healthy habits,” said McGovern.
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