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Active After-School Communities (AASC)

Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport
Updated by: Christine May, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport
Last updated: 12 October 2020
Content disclaimer: See Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer

The Active After-school Communities (AASC) program was an Australian Government initiative that provided primary school-aged children with access to free sport and other structured physical activity programs in the after-school time slot of 3.00pm to 5.30pm. It operated from 2004-2014.

AASC program activities were based upon a 'Playing for Life' philosophy.

Background

The AASC program was developed by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) in response to societal trends influencing children’s sport participation, including:

  • the decline of physical education and sport in Australian schools;
  • reduced opportunities for families to support out of school activities;
  • less opportunities for children to be physically active in the home due to families being concerned about children playing unsupervised.

The program provided primary school children with access to free sport and structured physical activity programs in the hours directly after school. The program was delivered either at a primary school or an out of school hours care service (OSHCS).

Objectives

The AASC program objectives were to:

  1. Enhance the physical activity levels of primary school-aged children through a nationally coordinated program.
  2. Provide increased opportunities for inclusive participation in quality, safe and fun sport and other structured physical activity through the AASC program.
  3. Stimulate local community involvement in sport and other structured physical activity.

In the 10 years that the AASC program operated (2004-2014)  2 million children from 60,000 schools and OSHCS participated and 70,000 coaches were involved across six states and two territories with an average of 190,000 children taking part per semester. [Source: Celebrating 10 years of the AASC, Australian Sports Commission, November 2014]

The Australian Government announced that the AASC program would cease at the end of 2014 and that a new program, Sporting Schools, would commence in 2015 [Source: Australian Sports Commission Media Release, 14 May 2014].

Sporting Schools is an evolution of the AASC program and forms an important part of the ASC’s participation strategy with a focus on children and young adults and improving the capacity of NSOs to develop and grow. Further information on Sporting Schools is available on the website.

Further information

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