New school fundraising program launched in Canberra replaces chocolate drives with physical activity

Glynis Quinlan 24 May 2017

Students from Maribyrnong Primary School in Kaleen joined with local sports stars yesterday to launch a new school fundraising program which replaces chocolate drives with physical activity.

The Active Schools Challenge encourages primary school students and teachers to get active for one hour every day during the month of August while being sponsored by family and friends.

Developed by the Canberra-based Physical Activity Foundation, the program provides schools with 75 per cent of the funds raised which they are in turn encouraged to put towards physical activity programs and equipment for the students.

Physical Activity Foundation CEO, Lucille Baille, said that encouraging children to be active is a national priority due to alarming childhood overweight and obesity statistics.

“There’s nothing more important than our health and being active is the key to a healthy life,” Ms Baille said.

“It’s hard for schools to raise money and the days of chocolate drives and cake stalls should definitely be over. This program is the perfect answer.

“It makes fundraising a breeze, provides all the materials schools need to get involved and enjoy an Active August.”

Ms Baille said registered schools are provided with a series of tools, activity planners, classroom and ideas that are designed to help keep students motivated and active.

The Physical Activity Foundation is run by a Board of volunteer Directors in collaboration with a small team based in Canberra. Its patron is Chief Minister Andrew Barr who this year made the first pledge to kick off the campaign.

Interested schools wanting to learn more or register should go to or email

Top photo: Students and local sports stars at yesterday’s launch at Maribyrnong Primary School. Middle photo: Australian basketball player for the University of Canberra Capitals, Marianna Tolo, getting the students involved in some exercises. (Photos supplied).

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