2009 Case Study: Kids in our Communities to be Fit for Life

Former swimming champion Shelly Taylor-Smith helped Alcoa celebrate its partnership with the Bluearth Foundation during 2009.

The Bluearth program has been running successfully in schools right around Australia for a number of years, thanks to the Bluearth
Foundation and corporate partners. The program aims to instil lifelong healthy habits and a love of physical activity in school kids – an ever important goal in the fight against childhood obesity.
 
Through Bluearth, students are given the opportunity to explore their co-ordination, agility, speed, motor skills, stability, flexibility, cardiovascular adaptation and balance within a fun and supportive environment. The physical activity then helps the children to keep focused in class, ultimately delivering them with better learning outcomes.

Alcoa has been in partnership with Bluearth since 2008, first supporting the roll out of the program in ten schools throughout the Peel region of Western Australia.

In 2009, we extended our support enabling several schools in the South-West to also take part (Waroona, Harvey, Yarloop and Australind Primary Schools). Alcoa was the first corporate to become involved in the program.

Former Federal Government Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, now Bluearth CEO, Mal Brough, was at Alcoa’s celebration event.  “Independent evaluations have verified that students who take part in the Bluearth program also show significantly reduced projection of body fat for their age group, increased postural stability and improved academic results in literacy, numeracy and reading - as measured by the national standard NAPLAN test scores,” he said.

“Bluearth is working hard to ensure that the benefits of the Bluearth program are accessible to schools and communities Australia-wide, and thanks to our sponsors like Alcoa of Australia this goal is coming closer to being realised.”

As a company with one of the lowest lost workday injury rates in Australia, we believe that our health and safety expertise is a valuable asset which can be used to build capacity in the broader community.
 
The Bluearth Institute was founded by software entrepreneur Malcolm Freake.

Read more about Alcoa's work in schools at www.alcoa.com.au/schools.