Zali, 4, and Digby Tidey, 7, check out Aussie rules, at Yeronga football club in Brisbane. Picture: AAP/Claudia Baxter
Zali, 4, and Digby Tidey, 7, check out Aussie rules, at Yeronga football club in Brisbane. Picture: AAP/Claudia Baxter

Junior sport in Qld becoming too expensive for parents

THE cost of junior sport is becoming a growing concern among Queensland parents, with fees for weekend footy, soccer and netball hitting the hip pocket.

The Courier-Mail has analysed junior sport registration fees across the state to find out how much it costs to get children involved in sport.

AFL Auskick and junior Aussie rules fees were found to be the lowest, setting parents back about $75 to $100 for the year.

For soccer enthusiasts though, costs were significantly higher, with fees ranging from $285 to $450 at some Brisbane clubs.

Netball fees ranged from $260 to $300 a year, similar to rugby union's $220 to $350 registration costs.

A check at several junior rugby league clubs across the state found it cost anywhere between $170 to $250, with a big discount for U/6 and female players who had to pay about $120 for the year.

Throw in the price of sporting gear such as football boots, mouthguards and headgear and some parents have to pay more than $1000 a year to put their kids through junior sport.

Brisbane mother Leesa Monaghan signed two of her children to play Auskick and said the fees associated with it made it financially easier on parents.

"For such a cheap and available sport, you know that (the kids and I) are benefiting from it," she said.

"You turn up to Auskick and you get a ball with your pack. It's easy to know there's not a requirement for any specialist equipment."

Research released last year found a significant drop-off in junior participation rates in the lower income families categories.

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kidsplay_650x366.jpg

The State Government has developed a Sport and Recreation Strategy to help increase participation rates and has allocated $5.62 million to the Get Started Program which has helped 40,000 young Queenslanders take up sport and active recreation.

Queensland's Sport Minister Mick de Brenni said it was heartbreaking to see kids unable to play junior sport and it was a priority of his to address the issue.

"Anyone who's involved in a club knows that there are kids whose families are struggling financially, and for those kids, the club can be a lifeline," he said.

"It breaks my heart to see that kids who could benefit from being part of a club are sometimes the kids who are least able to afford it, which is why I am absolutely committed to addressing that inequality.

"I will work with codes, clubs, volunteers and players to ensure it removes barriers that prevent any Queenslander from having a go."

News Corp Australia


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