Rockingham area Scout groups to be hit by Kidsport funding cuts


First Rockingham Scout Group leader Matthew Schryver said scout activities encouraged children’s physical development.
First Rockingham Scout Group leader Matthew Schryver said scout activities encouraged children’s physical development.

CUTS to the Kidsport program will have a detrimental impact on Scout groups throughout WA, according to Scouts WA chief executive Sherry Donaldson.

She said criteria changes meant eligible parents would no longer be able to access Kidsport subsidies for their children to take part in scouts.

First Rockingham Scout Group leader Matthew Schryver said about 25 children from their membership of 75 would be impacted by the cut.

“It’s going to hurt a lot,” he said.

“The scout clubs in Secret Harbour, Warnbro, Baldivis and Kwinana will all be affected.

“This could be the tipping point for us.”

Mr Schryver said scouts tried to get children out and about as much as possible.

“We concentrate on their physical, emotional and social development,” he said.

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 (ASC).

“Such organisations do not include Scouts.”

But Ms Donaldson said Scouts fitted into their definition of sport.

“Physical activity is what we do; we’re all about physical activity it’s what we’re all about,” she said.

“Our program also runs all year, not just for eight weeks.

“They want kids to be physically active and to be part of a club and we fit both of those.

“We think we’re doing a good job, they’ve now just decided ‘no longer’.”

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