Supporting healthy communities through sports and recreation programs

Healthy communities are communities in which people have the physical and mental health and wellbeing needed to conduct their daily lives. The purpose of this Closing the Gap Clearinghouse paper is to review the available evidence of a range of sports and recreation programs in relation to their effects on supporting and building healthy communities. There is some evidence in the form of critical descriptions of programs and systematic reviews on the benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from participation in sport and recreational programs. These include some improvements in school retention, attitudes towards learning, social and cognitive skills, physical and mental health and wellbeing; increased social inclusion and cohesion; increased validation of and connection to culture; and some evidence of crime reduction.

Download the full paper here (PDF).