The New South Wales Government has agreed to consider a program that would help parents pay for their kids’ organised sports.
The voucher scheme follows a parliamentary inquiry into childhood obesity and is part of a wider government goal to reduce childhood obesity by 5% by 2025.
One in five children in NSW are now overweight or obese and the exorbitant price of organised sports can be a barrier for some families wanting to get involved.
Dr Phil Hamdorf, Executive Director, NSW Office of Sport, told the committee that ‘there is no question’ that the costs associated with children’s sports – like equipment, jerseys, registration and insurance – can be an obstacle.
The inquiry highlighted a Queensland system in which parents can apply for $150 worth of funding for each child.
Health Minister Brad Hazzar told the Daily Telegraph that sport was vital for keeping kid’s weight down as well as combating the risk of suicide, teen pregnancy and drug abuse.
“For an average family, sport can often be a pretty expensive exercise, by the time you pay for registration fees and kick in more money for uniforms and travel it can become the last thing on the agenda so it’s a real challenge for some families,” Hazzar said.