KidSport axe falls on Scouts, Guides
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.