KidS­port axe falls on Scouts, Guides

Great Southern Herald - - News - Sjanna San­dalova

The State Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced changes to KidS­port fund­ing that will come into ef­fect on July 1, mak­ing 1000 chil­dren who pre­vi­ously qual­i­fied in­el­i­gi­ble as a re­sult.

The changes af­fect Scouts WA and Girl Guides WA, which have been axed from the pro­gram be­cause they do not meet the def­i­ni­tion of a sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion used in the KidS­port pol­icy.

Mem­ber for Roe Peter Run­dle said the changes would re­ally hit lower so­cio-eco­nomic fam­i­lies.

“KidS­port gives chil­dren who are from a lower so­cio-eco­nomic back­ground the op­por­tu­nity to play sport by ap­ply­ing for fund­ing ($200 a child ev­ery year),” Mr Run­dle said. “That ac­tu­ally brought about 10,000 more kids into mainly sport­ing groups, but also Scouts and Girl Guides.

“The way Scouts do sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties is very dif­fer­ent, such as ca­noe­ing, bush walk­ing and camp­ing, so it is do­ing the same as any other sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion — keeping kids fit just using a dif­fer­ent for­mat.”

Ex­clu­sion of Girl Guides from the pro­gram will af­fect about 260 mem­bers who pre­vi­ously ben­e­fited from an­nual KidS­port vouch­ers.

The ex­clu­sion of Scouts WA will leave 750 mem­bers with­out fund­ing.

Sport and Recreation Min­is­ter Mick Mur­ray said the for­mer club eli­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria was re­laxed, al­low­ing the fund­ing to be ac­cessed by or­gan­i­sa­tions that were not gen­er­ally recog­nised as of­fer­ing a sport.

“The State Gov­ern­ment agency ad­min­is­ter­ing the KidS­port pro­gram uses the def­i­ni­tion of sport and recog­nised sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions as de­fined by the Aus­tralian Sports Com­mis­sion.

“Such or­gan­i­sa­tions do not in­clude Scouts.”

Katan­ning Scouts and Girl Guides Unit Leader Me­gan Ly­deamore said both of­fered an al­ter­na­tive way for chil­dren to keep ac­tive.

“We find a lot of girls use the KidS­port fund­ing for Girl Guides be­cause they might not be in­ter­ested in team sports,” she said. “We will have some kids who will have to drop out once their regis­tra­tion runs out, be­cause they sim­ply can­not af­ford it.”

KidS­port vouch­ers have also been re­duced from $200 to $150 as of Jan­uary 1, 2018.

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