New laws no in­sur­ance for sports fu­ture

The Advertiser - - SPORT - DOU­GLAS SMITH

SOUTH Aus­tralian sport­ing bosses are an­gry new laws in­tro­duced for vol­un­teer screen­ing and hir­ing of fa­cilites are forc­ing clubs into un­wanted in­sur­ance bur­dens.

The new lease agree­ment, is­sued by the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion and Child Devel­op­ment in Novem­ber last year, leaves sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions com­pletely li­able if kids are in­jured by faulty school fa­cil­i­ties or equip­ment.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Bas­ket­ball SA, Mark Hub­bard, said Bas­ket­ball SA had ad­vised clubs that if they sign off on it, they’re not cov­ered by in­sur­ance, putting them at risk.

“The mat­ter it­self is ex­tremely im­por­tant,” Hub­bard said.

“Child pro­tec­tion is ex­tremely im­por­tant, no­body is ques­tion­ing that, it just seems that what they’ve put in place, is po­ten­tially a mea­sure that isn’t prop­erly con­sid­er­ing how you run with it in real life.

“The new lease agree­ment will af­fect coun­try bas­ket­ball as­so­ci­a­tions the most, as school sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties are their main re­source for run­ning events.

“It cer­tainly has the po­ten­tial to cause havoc with our bas­ket­ball pro­grams, compe- titions and train­ings five to six days a week.

“There is an ab­so­lute short­age of sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties in this state. “With­out the abil­ity to use school fa­cil­i­ties you take away ac­cess to the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties and there is no plan B.”

A child pro­tec­tion screen­ing fee of $55 is also re­quired for all vol­un­teers as­so­ci­ated with chil­dren’s sport­ing groups that hire school fa­cil­i­ties.

Sport SA CEO, Jan Suther­land says they’re not against screen­ing and think it is ab­sol- utely nec­es­sary, but think the child safety screen­ing net has been cast far too wide.

“I ac­cept that the screen­ing they do is a very rig­or­ous screen­ing, but I think they’re do­ing it on too many peo­ple,” she said.

South Aus­tralian Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion gen­eral manager Shane Bern­hardt said the new lease agree­ment is look­ing for an in­creased level of child pro­tec­tion screen­ing.

“I don’t think there should be a cost for them to be screened to be able to work with chil­dren, and pro­vide sport­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for chil­dren,” Bern­hardt said.

DECD Deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Phil O’Lough­lin said for the past two years pre­scribed staff and vol­un­teers of or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­vid­ing sport­ing and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties have been re­quired to un­der­take a rel­e­vant crim­i­nal his­tory screen­ing.

“The Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion and Child Devel­op­ment wants the best screen­ing avail­able to pro­tect all the chil­dren us­ing its schools and fa­cil­i­ties.”

WOR­RIED: South Aus­tralian Bas­ket­ball chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Hub­bard.

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