Parents across NSW will be helped out with an $100 rebate for sporting activities, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced this week.
It will come in the form of a voucher that can then be spent on swimming and sporting activities.
Registered Coach and Tumut Junior Tennis President Bernadette Cahill said that she couldn’t conclusively comment until the sporting community knows more, but at face value the rebate looks like a genuine help for families.
“Tennis Australia haven’t issued a media policy on that one yet, but I think it’s great,” she said.
“I think it would make a real difference to people. Tennis fees are pretty minimal but when you’re looking at netball and hockey it does tend to add up for people on the lower income threshold to the point where they say maybe I can’t do this sport – especially for parents with multiple children who play multiple sports.
“One hundred dollars can go a long way.”
The purpose of the program is ostensibly to discourage child obesity, with 22 per cent of NSW children currently above a healthy weight. The government is aiming to drop that level by 5 per cent over ten years.
Coach Cahill added that even for physically healthy kids there are plenty of other benefits to joining a sporting club.
“The good thing about sport as well is that they’re mixing with children from four or five different schools,” she said.
“So they’re broadening their circle of friends as well, and a lot of the time sporting friends are your closest friends and the ones you keep for a long time.”
The active kids rebate is expected to cost the government $407 million, and will not be means-tested, meaning it’s available for every child in NSW regardless of their parents’ income level.
A comprehensive list of eligible sports and activities will be finalised following community consultation ahead of the start date of January 1, 2018, to allow providers to register with the NSW Office of Sport.
Parents will then be able to register online to get their voucher to a sports club or registered provider to receive the rebate.