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History of sports organisations in our schools

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Sapsasa – Primary School Sport

Sapsasa – Primary School Sport was established as the South Australian Public Schools Amateur Sports Association (SAPSASA) in 1912. By 1927 most government schools were members – 65 schools with 584 teachers.

SAPSASA began interstate exchanges in 1923 when it joined Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales in their existing Australian football program followed by girls’ basketball (now netball) in 1924. In 1949 the association changed its name from South Australian Public Schools Amateur Sports Association to South Australian Primary Schools Amateur Sports Association to allow all primary school students to be involved in the programs. In 1978 SAPSASA became an incorporated body under the ‘Associations Act’.

In 2005 SAPSASA voted to dissolve as an association and in 2006 a 3-tier primary school sport committee structure was established within the education department. It became known as Sapsasa – Primary School Sport.

Secondary School Sport SA

Secondary School Sport SA began as four separate associations – the SA Boys Technical Schools Sports Association, the SA Girls Technical Sports Association, the Girls High School Association and the Metropolitan Boys High Schools. In the late 1970’s the associations amalgamated and developed a new constitution under the name of SASSSA (South Australian Secondary Schools Sports Association) becoming an incorporated body in 1980.

SASSSA as an incorporated body was dissolved in 2004 and became a committee of the education department. Being no longer and association, SASSSA became Secondary School Sport SA.

Secondary School Sport SA has grown into a vibrant organisation which recognises the importance of providing opportunities for all young South Australian students to engage in physical activity for health, fun, satisfactions, recognitions, while providing valuable learning outcomes.

School Sport SA

At the beginning of 2018 Sapsasa – Primary School Sport and Secondary School Sport SA combined to become School Sport SA with a new School Sport SA logo. This enabled a more integrated approach to the delivery of primary and secondary school sport.

School Sport SA is part of the Curriculum Programs directorate of the Curriculum and Learning Division. School sport can and does make a significant contribution to students’ learning. School Sport SA coordinates the development of quality school sport programs that align with the Australian Health and Physical Education Curriculum, SACE and VET to support the learning needs of all students.


From 2019, awards will be given in these categories:

  • District/zone/region service awards
  • 10 year service award
  • 20 year service award
  • life membership.

Refer to the award details and nomination form (DOC 124KB).

See the list of School Sport SA award recipients (PDF 138KB).


Our yearbook celebrates the sporting achievements of the many schools that take part in the School Sport SA program. The 2021 yearbook showcases School Sport SA and the many highlights enjoyed by participants.

School Sport SA yearbook (PDF 6.4MB)

School Sport SA

Phone: 8416 5900
Email: education.schoolsportsa [at] sa.gov.au