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Compulsory sport pushes costs onto parents – the answer is sport subsidies

MEDIA RELEASE

All school-age children should be able to play sport however simply making PE compulsory isn’t the right response, according to Victoria’s peak social advocacy body.

The Victorian Council of Social Service notes news coverage today of the positive benefits for school kids who play sport.

“Access to sport is a significant issue for children from families facing disadvantage,” VCOSS CEO Emma King said.

“But making sport compulsory at school will do nothing to help these families afford uniforms, equipment and trips.”

“What we need is to make extracurricular sport affordable for every child and every family.”

VCOSS’s 2018 Victorian Election Platform proposes a state-based, transferable sports voucher scheme so children in low-income families to participate in sport outside of school.

“In Victoria, more than 75% of kids from well-off families play weekend sport, compared to just 50% from poorer families,” Ms King said.

“Fees, uniforms, equipment and travel costs make it too expensive for many.”

“These children also miss out on the well-established benefits of organised sport, including to their health, wellbeing, self-esteem and levels of social engagement.”

“VCOSS urges both major parties in Victoria take a proposal for a sports voucher scheme to November’s state election.”

VCOSS also remains keen to hear what additional role the Federal Government may play to make sport more affordable for every child.

 

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