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Ministerial media release: Push for more girls in sport

June 2017

NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres has called on parents and sporting codes to use the introduction of the Active Kids Rebate to spark a major increase in the participation rate of girls in sport.

Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres has joined Member for Miranda Eleni Petinos and Member for Cronulla Mark Speakman to meet with junior female rugby league players and Australian League Jillaroo and Cronulla Sharks player Corban McGregor.

“Female participation is now the fastest growing area of rugby league, but there is a high drop out rate from the age of 12. We want to turn that around and make sure talented junior players have pathways to continue playing the sport they love,” Mr Ayres said.

“Only a third of girls aged between 5-8 years participate in organised sport or fitness outside of school hours, and for females aged between 15-17 years the participation rate is 8% less than the state average.”

“The Active Kids rebate is an important part of our record $401 million sport budget, which is an investment in community sport and significantly will encourage more girls and women to be involved in sport and fitness.”

Member for Cronulla Mark Speakman joined calls for parents to take advantage of the Active Kids Rebate which will be introduced from 1 January next year.

“Whether your son or daughter plays netball, football or basketball; or takes part in swimming classes, gymnastics or athletics, families will be able to claim up to $100 per school child through an online voucher system, helping to ease pressure on family budgets,” Mr Speakman said.

Jeff Killick is a father of twin 16-year old girls, along with a 14-year old daughter who each play 4 different codes, including for the local Cronulla Caringbah Sharks junior league club.

“Who would have thought 30 years ago, I could cheer on my daughters playing rugby league? It means a lot to them to play and it means a lot for me to watch them,” Mr Killick said.

“Sporting costs add up and it is a double-whammy with twins, so the rebate will help a lot.”

Member for Miranda Eleni Petinos said momentum for a National Women’s League Competition was building ahead Women’s Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) with pool matches and semi-finals to be played at Southern Cross Group Stadium in Cronulla.

“This is first time the Women’s World Cup has been played concurrently with the Men’s Tournament, creating a legacy for the game, and what better location than the home of the Sharks,” Ms Petinos said.

“There has been an 88% increase in women playing Rugby League in the Sutherland Shire in the last year. In 2015 there were 5 players, now there are 484.”

“With the World Cup to be played here between 16 and 26 November, we expect those numbers will soar.”

Six women’s teams will come from three continents Europe (England), North America (Canada) and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea) with the final team to be confirmed after the Pacific Qualifying Series next month.

Further detail about the Active Kids voucher is available on the NSW Office of Sport website, see: Active Kids Rebate

MEDIA: Minister Ayres I Vanessa Grimm I 0419 744 236