While it still feels a bit cool outside, we are getting close to the end of winter which means summer sport is just around the corner. Summer sport has always been a part of Australian culture and identity. Whether it's challenging your mates to a cricket match in the backyard, or swimming laps at your local pool, there are many benefits to playing sport.
When taking up a sport, the first decision you need to make for yourself or your children is whether you want to try an individual or team sport. Both types have their own advantages with team sports great for meeting new people, making friends and becoming part of a wider club community, and they are often cheaper than individual sports as costs are spread across a larger group of people.
Individual sports mean you can train when you want to and can often choose when you want to play or compete. You also do not need to rely on other people taking part or to make up enough numbers for a team. Both types of sport are great for boosting confidence and building social and communication skills. They also help increase fitness and both mental and physical health.
When choosing a sport things such as time commitments, equipment needed, and of course costs, need to be considered. A game may take a short time to play but there is also training, before and after game commitments, and travel time which can be a huge factor, especially in regional areas.
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Costs can include registration and insurance fees, along with equipment costs and weekly or seasonal match fees. Often clubs will have discounts on family or student memberships so be sure to ask when joining and don't forget to use your Active kids vouchers.
The Active Kids program provides two $100 vouchers for parents, guardians and carers of school-enrolled children to use towards sport and active recreation costs each year. NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the vouchers, which may be used with a registered activity provider for registration, participation and membership costs for sport, fitness and active recreation activities, have been made available to help ease the cost-of-living pressures for parents and help children learn and experience new activities.
"We want to give every encouragement and opportunity for children to try new things and have the best start in life," he said. "For a family with two children, Creative and Active Kids combined will save you $400 a year". To find our what summer sports are available in your area, contact your local council or a quick Google search can often help. For more information on the Active Kids program visit the MyServiceNSW website.