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Funding cuts add to declining sport participation in South Australia

The Weatherill Labor Government should reconsider its decision to reduce grant funding to grassroots sport, with ABS data released yesterday revealing South Australians’ participation in sport and physical recreation is the second lowest in the nation.

Just 60.9 per cent of South Australians participated in sport and physical recreation in 2013-14, down from 65.8 per cent in 2005-06.


Shadow Minister for Recreation and Sport Tim Whetstone said the Weatherill Labor Government’s decision to cut $3.5 million in annual funding for the Community Recreation and Sport Facilities Program from 2015/16 will be detrimental to local communities.


“We should be doing everything we can to encourage young people to participate in sport and fitness activities to keep them fit and healthy,” said Mr Whetstone.


“The important role of recreation and sporting clubs and grounds in communities should not be understated.


“ABS figures released yesterday, showing a steady decline in participation after almost a decade, are another indication of the need to continue investing in our sporting infrastructure and clubs to increase the health and wellbeing of local communities.


“Any reductions to sporting and recreation grassroots funding is a hit to local communities that is unacceptable.”


Mr Whetstone said the Weatherill Labor Government’s massive increase in the Emergency Services Levy had also impacted sporting clubs and participation.


“These clubs provide facilities that are used by hundreds of children and adults to encourage people to be physically active and are predominantly run by volunteers,” Mr Whetstone said.


“Premier Weatherill must explain why he is cutting important funding to the Community Recreation and Sports Facilities Program at time when the state needs serious improvement in sport and recreation participation.”