Kids’ balls bounced

Pupils can’t bring footies to school

Herald Sun - - NEWS - SUZAN DELIBASIC suzan.delibasic@news.com.au LEADER NEWS­PA­PERS

A CROY­DON school has up­set some par­ents by ban­ning pupils from play­ing with their own foot­balls and soc­cer balls.

A let­ter to par­ents from Dorset Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal Palma Coppa said: “The school wel­fare team has dealt with a surge in sport-re­lated in­juries in the play­ground due to im­pacts with play­ing balls that are over-in­flated and over­sized. We have also noted a large in­crease in the num­ber of balls brought from home.”

She said in­juries in­cluded some frac­tures and mild con­cus­sions, and most re­lated to balls strik­ing chil­dren in the head and hands.

“In an ef­fort to en­sure safety of all of our chil­dren who play in the play­ground, we are pro­vid­ing chil­dren with the cor­rectly sized play­ing balls from the school’s PE sup­plies and in­struct­ing them not to bring balls from home.”

She said: “We know some stu­dents will be dis­ap­pointed with this de­ci­sion; how­ever, we must act to en­sure the safety of our stu­dents.”

Jodie Del Monaco, of Kil­syth, who has three chil­dren at the school, was dis­ap­pointed by the “ex­treme” de­ci­sion.

“I’ve heard stu­dents are play­ing footy with a (school­sup­plied) vol­ley­ball,” she said.

She said her grade 4 son, 9, was dis­traught. “He’s re­ally dis­heart­ened be­cause he can’t play his favourite sports, like down­ball, any more.”

Ms Del Monaco said the ban would put a real strain on chil­dren. “Kids rely on their ball sports and if you take this away from them then it can lead to all sorts of prob­lems.”

But an­other par­ent, who wished not be named, said she agreed with the school’s pol­icy.

“The new pol­icy has been work­ing and it’s been great, as not as many stu­dents are get­ting in­jured,” she said.

Af­ter be­ing ap­proached for com­ment, the prin­ci­pal con­tacted par­ents to in­sist the ban was for a trial period only.

Ms Coppa said the school con­tin­ued to en­cour­age pupils to play sport. “We’ve had chil­dren suf­fer bro­ken bones and head in­juries from balls that are meant to be used by adults, and by pro­vid­ing balls at school it’s no longer nec­es­sary for stu­dents to bring in their own,” Ms Coppa said.

“Chil­dren will al­ways be al­lowed to play ball games at our school. I’ll see how this ap­proach is work­ing in term 3.”

In 2015, the school over­turned a 10-year ban on pupils rid­ing their bikes to and from school, fol­low­ing protests.

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