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Art, Recreation and Sports

Art, recreation and sporting services and programs fulfil an important role in the community. They support the health and wellbeing of the community and enrich the lives of young Canberrans. Young people’s skills, talents and abilities can be developed through participation in the huge number of art, recreation and sports programs in the ACT community. In 2002 young people aged 18–24 years had higher levels of participation in social activities outside the home than other adults with a rate of 96 percent.[1]

Sporting activities also play a key role in the wellbeing of young people. Physical recreation can reduce obesity, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes as well as protecting against some forms of cancer and strengthening the musculoskeletal system and improving mental wellbeing through reducing feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.[2] Young people in the ACT aged 18-25 years have higher levels of engagement in sport than every other older age bracket with around 80% of young people engaged in sporting activities.[3]

There remain many barriers to participation for young people. In particular, those who may not be engaged in mainstream activities requiring transport, cost and awareness. Workers need to be mindful of these barriers when attempting to reengage young people. Providing effective referrals to art, recreation and sporting services for young people is a way of addressing these barriers. The services in this section create opportunities and facilitate active involvement so young people can benefit from participating in arts and recreation programs.

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