Sporting clubs all around the SE have taken home a significant share of vouchers offered by the State Government to assist local families with the costs of playing sport.
Almost 6,500 of the more than 100,000 vouchers issued have gone to clubs around the Limestone Coast – saving families across the state more than $5 million and attracting more youngsters to sports.
The program allows every primary school student to claim a voucher, which is used as a $50 subsidy towards the cost of a sports club fee or membership.
More than 1400 clubs and organisations across the state have accepted the voucher with the three most popular sports being football, Little Athletics and netball.
Twenty per cent of primary school-aged girls claimed a voucher, highlighting the continued growth in popularity of women’s sport.
The sports voucher program was launched in March 2015 as part of a State Government commitment to help children play their favourite sport at a discounted price.
On the Limestone Coast, the top clubs to have accepted vouchers are:
- SANFL 1387
- Naracoorte and District Basketball Association 305
- South Gambier Football Club 246
- East Gambier Sportsmen’s Club 229
Participation in sport and recreation improves the fitness and health of children and provides a fun, safe and social environment that contributes to our thriving South Australian community.
The program aims to reduce the cost of living for South Australian families and attract more young people to participate in sport.
Naracoorte and District Basketball Association junior chairperson Jenny Grigg has noticed an increase in the number of children playing basketball since the introduction of the sports vouchers program in 2015.
“We have used the vouchers for a couple of seasons now and they are a great help to many families as they cut some of the costs and allow many kids to play,” she said.
“Sadly the vouchers are only for primary school children and I think it would be great if it could cover high school students as they are the ones I feel need the help more.”
Minister for Sport and Recreation Leon Bignell said it was great to see huge numbers of primary school students join sporting clubs across the state.
“A big part of this growth is because of our sports vouchers program helping to make their favourite sports affordable,” he explained.
“I’m particularly delighted to see regions like the Limestone Coast showing such a strong uptake of the grant – participation in sport is so important for children in our regions – and quite often regional clubs are the starting point for our sporting stars of the future.
“We want to help our next generation of elite athletes progress through the ranks and assisting them to get a start by discounting the fees that come with sporting clubs has a big impact.”