New laws no insurance for sports future
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.