The governing bodies of the State’s largest club based sport, Northern NSW Football and Football NSW, through their respective CEO’s David Eland and Stuart Hodge, have applauded today’s announcement by the State Government of a ‘sports rebate’, that will make the game more affordable and accessible to young families across NSW.
Parents of school aged children will benefit from the ‘Active Kids Rebate’, a new $100 rebate for sporting and fitness related costs announced today by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet as part of the NSW Budget, with $207 million set aside over four years from 2017-2018 for every family with children in school from early next year.
“The health and lifestyle benefits from sport are well known and football’s affordability as a sport is also one of the key factors in its record participation growth,” Eland said.
“Today’s announcement signals the NSW Government’s recognition of the importance of sport in healthy communities and provides an opportunity for existing players to do so more cost effectively and to provide even greater appeal for the game to new players wishing to participate from next season.”
Football NSW’s newly appointed CEO, Stuart Hodge, acknowledged the valuable commitment by the NSW Government to community sports facilities, with $1.3 billion allocated to regional infrastructure.
“Research and forecasting for the game indicates that all areas, particularly regional areas, will be left wanting as facilities fail to keep up with the demands of growth in player participation,” Hodge said.
“Our Future Needs of Football document has identified the chronic need for investment in community football facilities and Northern NSW Football, along with Football NSW, have already identified facility enhancement projects totalling $330m including lighting, drainage and amenities in order to keep pace with the game.
“Collectively with our southern counterparts at Football NSW, we look forward to sharing our research with the State Government and working collaboratively on projects that meet the demands of continued growth in our game and the expectations of communities looking to maximise the opportunities and benefits arising from sport,” Eland concluded.
The Active Kids Initiative follows on from the announcement last week of the $4 million-dollar rollout of defibrillators at sports clubs to address the risk of cardiac arrest whilst attending sporting events.
Furthermore, football will most likely benefit from the $2 million dollar ‘Modernise and Optimise Regional Sport’ Initiative in conjunction with other regional initiatives.
This shows yet another major win for the ‘world game’ following the overall sport participation figures eclipsing 397,000 including Northern NSW, as the code continues to dominate as being the number one played sport in not only NSW but the country.
The direct beneficiaries of the newly announced ‘Active Kids Rebate’ will be the 116,290 ALDI MiniRoos youngsters aged 5 to 11 years and the 74,548 Youth footballers aged 12 to 17 years.