Give bush kids a sporting chance

Young Athletes Travel Subsidy not enough


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The cost of travelling hundreds of kilometres is preventing some remote future sports stars from reaching their full potential.

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Amy Bellingham and Darcy Persse at the touch football girls state trials in Bundaberg.

Amy Bellingham and Darcy Persse at the touch football girls state trials in Bundaberg.

THE prohibitive cost of travelling hundreds of kilometres throughout regional Queensland to attend games and training is preventing some remote future sports stars from reaching their full potential.

Thallon mother of three sporty kids Jessie Persse said the current Young Athletes Travel Subsidy was not enough and called for the ICPA to lobby for an increase.

Currently, children attending a state event are eligible for $200 once every two years. For national it is $400 and international, $600.

Ms Persse said the funding was retrospective and parents were left out of pocket until they were reimbursed.

She said the tyranny of distance and associated costs with travelling to sporting events were preventing some children from taking part.

"When you live in rural and remote areas and you have a child who likes or is good at a particular sport it can be cost prohibitive.

"For example in Dirranbandi, if you have a child that wants to get involved in the Balonne district, which is the schools around St George, you can travel for over an hour just for the trials.

"If they make the team they go to what's called the south-west trails and you can travel for four to five, or from western Queensland seven or eight hours to get to that sport."

"Once you do that you've got accommodation, fuel, food. The better you are and the higher you get in the sport the higher the costs for the family.

"What we're asking for is to add another level for kids in rural and remote areas in recognition for the fact that we travel those distances to access lower level sports."

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