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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places
 

Aboriginal and Islander adults who play football are healthier, happier and better connected to the community: report

Date posted: 9 October 2017

 A new report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in sport by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) has found that First Australians who play football are healthier, happier and better connected to their communities.

BCEC Principal Research Fellow and report author, Associate Professor Mike Dockery, said the report reveals the benefits of playing AFL extend beyond physical health benefits, highlighting the positive mental health and community level outcomes.

'This finding is particularly important given the high rates of psychological stress and incarceration experienced by Indigenous men. The incarceration rate for Indigenous juveniles is 24 times that of non-Indigenous youth. AFL has an important role to play in fostering mental health and positively engaging disaffected youth,' said Mr Dockery.

The report co-author and Senior Research Fellow, Dr Sean Gorman, from Curtin University’s School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, said the report also found that AFL is an inclusive sport that offers wide accessibility irrespective of socio-economic background.

'While children from disadvantaged backgrounds were less likely to participate in other organised sport, this was less apparent for AFL,' Dr Gorman said.

Aboriginal and Islander adults who play football report more frequent social contact and are more likely to feel they have support outside their immediate household.

Source: ECU Daily

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Last updated: 9 October 2017
 
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