In a bid to get kids active again, Australia’s biggest national handball competition for primary school aged was held last weekend.

The finals for Australia’s biggest national handball competition for primary school aged children took place this weekend across seven states. It was attended by over 400 children aged 6-12 years and formed part of Camp Australia’s post-COVID-19 campaign to get children active again following a year of lockdowns and increased screen time.

Participants were winners of Camp Australia’s in-service championships, held throughout Term 1 and during the Autumn school holidays.

The regional finals, hosted by Camp Australia at 12 partner schools, was held in collaboration with Handball Australia and received support from Ash Barty, Kara Antonio, Mitch McGovern, Ed Ware and the St Kilda Football Club.

Research from Camp Australia released in February revealed three-quarters of parents (69%) and almost all principals (90%) reported a decrease in physical well-being, paired with feelings of being disconnected that accompanied the transition to remote learning and restrictions from the onset of the pandemic.

Camp Australia Chief Operating Officer, Brett Comer said the National Handball Championship was designed to support the physical and mental well-being of children throughout 2021.
Mr Comer said:

“Our research highlighted that following 2020, parents and principals observed a significant decrease in children’s physical and mental well-being because of the loss of participation in sports. Part of our response to COVID-19 continues in activities that guide children’s growth, such as the National Handball Championships to reconnect friendships whilst making physical activity accessible and fun to any child.”

Sporting stars from across the country including Freemantle AFLW star Kara Antonio, top AFL team St Kilda Football Club came together to show their support for the competition with important messages for children.

World No. 1 tennis player Ash Barty donated a signed top for the event, which became a good sportsmanship award and won by Lakeside College student Tahira. Veteran sprinter Ed Ware, recent winner of the Stawell Gift, also attended Hughesdale Primary School to support the children taking part in the championship.

Kara Antonio said:

“Bringing fun, physical activity to kids is always crucial to their health and wellbeing. It was exciting to be part of this unique collaboration to bring the National Handball Championships to kids around the country. It is an awesome initiative to get kids moving and socialising again in a positive, healthy environment.”

Chris Larkins, Executive General Manager of Community at St Kilda Football Club states that:

“Handball is a childhood favourite for so many of us – and we love the fact that anyone can play to reignite their love of sport and get moving. We really hope this event continues to inspire children everywhere to pick up their favourite sport, no matter what it is, to stay active.”

The National Handball Championships have been helpful in prioritising the physical wellbeing of students following a year of COVID lockdowns. Learning from home, increased screen time and other challenges throughout 2020 have impacted children’s resilience, so events like these that bring students together socially and commit to sport allow children to navigate the new ‘COVID-normal’.

More information on the National Handball Championships can be found at: 
Photos from the Regional Championships can be found here:

About Camp Australia 

Camp Australia (CA) is Australia’s leading provider of Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) and has a mission of Guiding Children’s Growth through their services. This includes before and after school care, as well as holiday care during term breaks for children aged 6-12. Camp Australia works alongside its 570+ partner schools, employing the best educators to deliver enriching experiences to help children learn and grow.

About Ultimate Rally Champions

Camp Australia has services across this vast nation, so we know that some families live too far away from the finals’ location to attend. Therefore, we gave them the option to participate in an online Ultimate Rally Championship (URC). Many passionate families chose to attend physical events and drive for over 3 hours in some instances. But the URC saw eight entries from five states, and we are excited to announce that Cooper from NSW Nowra Anglican College came first winning $750, second place Samuel from QLD Baringa State Primary School winning $500 and third Shanna from NSW Our Lady Star of the Sea winning $250. The winners have been selected by our campaign partner Handball Australia, based on the longest rally.