ALEISHA Godenzie is among the parents angry about the State Government’s decision to make cuts to the Kidsport program.
Criteria changes mean that eligible parents would no longer be able to access Kidsport subsidies for their children to participate in Scouts as it was no longer recognised as a sport.
The East Perth mother, whose son Dylan (11) is a member of the Victoria Park Scouts, said the decision was hard to take and she had written to Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt about it.
“The scouts took part in a 5km trek through the bush near Pinjarra; if that’s not a sport then I don’t know what is,” she said.
“The scouts take part in community every two or three weekends and they learn invaluable social skills; it seems unfair to make this harder to access for lower socio-economic families.
“The cost for families will be about $150 to $200 per year; luckily we will be able to afford that but it will be difficult for some.”
Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray said the original intent of the State Government’s Kidsport initiative was to reduce the financial barrier for children from lower socio-economic backgrounds to participate in organised community sport.
“Under the former Liberal-National Government, the club eligibility criteria were relaxed, allowing them to be accessed by organisations that were not generally recognised as offering a sport,” he said.
“The State Government agency administering the Kidsport program uses the definition of sport and recognised sporting organisations as defined by the Australian Sports Commission.
“Such organisations do not include scouts.”
Mr Murray said the Scouts movement was professionally and profitably managed with a high level of sustainability.