500,000 families save millions with gov’t sport scheme
EXCLUSIVE: Families saved millions of dollars on children's sport last year, redeeming a combined $54.3 million in Active Kids vouchers.
A total of 549,108 vouchers were downloaded in the first year of the state government scheme geared towards reducing childhood obesity and getting more kids in the game.
Each voucher gives parents a $100 discount on registration costs for any sport for children aged from 4.5 to 18 years old - although some families did not use the full value of the voucher.
The incentive was most popular in the South Coast town of Kiama, Sutherland Shire and Coolamon, in NSW's Riverina region, which were the top areas for redeeming vouchers.
While parents signed up their kids to a range of activities including everything from gymnastics to rugby union, traditional sports such as football, netball, and swimming were still the pick of choice for many.
Of the vouchers downloaded, 29 per cent were for children aged 8-10 while 25 per cent were for kids aged 11-13 and 54 per cent were for boys.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was clear the first year of the program had been a "huge success".
"We have made it a priority to reduce childhood overweight and obesity rates in NSW and now with Active Kids we have almost half of all school-enrolled kids enjoying the benefits of exercise," Ms Berejiklian said.
"I want to see even more families take advantage of the vouchers and enrol their children in sport in 2019."
Sport Minister Stuart Ayres said parents could register for the program in 2019 by registering online.
"Active kids are happy and healthy kids and this program means that every child in the State has the opportunity to be fit and active," Mr Ayres said.
A new $100 Creative Kids rebate that will give parents a discount on activities such as music lessons, language classes, performing arts and coding is also due to come online this month.
The Active Kids program is one of over 40 cost of living measures made available by the NSW government.
There are 9,600 approved Active Kids providers across the state.