28 January 2017 | Alex Sharp

Minister for Health and Minister for Sport Hon. Greg Hunt was joined by two-time Grand Slam champion and Tennis Australia Director Performance Pat Rafter to promote the Australian Government’s Girls Make Your Move campaign at Melbourne Park today.

The campaign features real girls playing sport and being active. It’s about encouraging young women to make sport and physical activity a natural and enjoyable part of their life.

Regular physical activity reduces the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, obesity and injury.

It also helps manage stress, alleviate depression and anxiety, strengthen self-esteem, enhance mood and boost mental alertness.

Young Australian women may know the benefits of being active, but they exercise less, than young men.

Last year the Turnbull Government launched the Girls Make Your Move campaign and next month the next round of the health drive will begin with a $7 million national advertising campaign.

Minister Hunt is determined to enhance sports participation across all ages.

“Girls Make Your Move is about Australia’s young women getting out there and giving it everything you’ve got, being active, being fit and staying healthy.

“Currently only one in 10 young Australians move enough and Australian girls in particular do less physical activity as they move through their teens.

“Research shows that girls face additional barriers to men – they don’t want to be judged or ridiculed and they can be self-conscious about how they look when exercising.

“Girls Make Your Move wants to push past those barriers. It’s about inspiring, energising and empowering young women to be more active in whatever way suits them.

“Tennis is a great way to get active – whether it’s joining a local club or getting friends together for a casual hit.

“More young people, walking, running, picking up a ball, picking up a racquet, swimming, doing whatever it is. With people from 8-80 years-old exercising regularly, Australia will be better, we’ll be better. Right now we’re focusing on young girls, young women in sport. The message is clear, girls make your move.”

Tennis Australia Director of Performance Pat Rafter supported the campaign. “For my kids I find it very important for them to play sport,” Rafter said.

“Not only is it about health and fitness, it’s also about making friendships. Sport makes you a more rounded person I think.

“You can see in the background here with Cardio Tennis, you can still be with your mates and have a lot of fun. It’s a good workout as well.

“I tried this a while ago and I was actually pretty tired at the end of it. You get lots of endorphins from doing sport, so it’s a great feeling when you finish a session.

“Through those teenage years, girls are going through changes, we’re well aware of that, but in a set up like this [Cardio Tennis] a girl can find they can be amongst a team, with friends and participating in a very active sport.”

For more information visit www.australia.gov.au/girlsmove