SHOULD high schools rethink their stance on offering more senior student sport programs and scheduled physical activity sessions?
Former Olympian and two-time world champion James Magnussen remembered how school sport provided him with the first step on the path to stardom.
"Our schools are our production lines for most sporting organisations," he said.
"It's where most kids are exposed to the sport they end up choosing for the first time.
"The first time I ever did a swimming race was at a school swimming carnival so it's really important for participation levels to keep those sports at school," Magnussen said.
"It certainly does have a flow-on effect (in the future) for those sporting organisations at a higher level."
The first time I ever did a swimming race was at a school swimming carnival so it's really important for participation levels to keep those sports at school.James Magnussen
The NSW Department of Education's sport and physical activity policy states that schools are encouraged to provide year 11 and 12 students weekly access to a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate sporting activity a week.
Magnussen felt having an outlet away from studying was important to a student's growth.
"Sport became even more important when that magnifying glass of the HSC became closer and closer," he said.
"It's important for all kids that age to be getting out and staying physically fit and active, particularly during those years in 11 and 12.
"I found sport was a real outlet to clear the mind because if you're not in good shape physically, your brain is probably not working at its capacity either."
The NSW Education Standards Authority said students in years 11 and 12 have the option to choose Personal Development, Health and Physical Education as a HSC subject.
"Within the course, there are opportunities for students to undertake practical activities as part of the course content," a spokesperson said.
"Within the year 11 course, all option choices are practical.
I found sport was a real outlet to clear the mind because if you're not in good shape physically, your brain is probably not working at its capacity either.James Magnussen
"Schools can choose to offer options such as Fitness Choices, Movement and Composition or Outdoor Education."
Beyond the curriculum, schools have the flexibility to provide students with opportunities to be physically active in the senior years depending on the needs and interests of their students.
"Through well-being and pastoral care programs schools provide opportunities for students to develop a variety of strategies to manage stress in the senior years, which could include being physically active."
Camden Haven High School student Connor Cook said he had no option for sport outside of lunchtime.
"PD/H/PE is all theory," he said.
"There is no ATAR subject with sport."
School principal Margaret Hutchinson said if students identified a need for timetabled sport programs in future, it would be considered.
"Students would be free to participate in sport and if the students identified a need then we certainly would be able to provide for that need," she said.
What else is happening in sport?
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