SA government sport voucher program praised in Port Augusta

NETBALL: Eliza, Selina and Caitlin Ashton say the SA government's sports voucher program has been a big help for local netball. PHOTO: Matt Carcich.

NETBALL: Eliza, Selina and Caitlin Ashton say the SA government's sports voucher program has been a big help for local netball. PHOTO: Matt Carcich.

When thinking of vouchers, you can be mistaken for thinking of fast food or two pub meals for one.

But local sporting groups including Port Augusta Netball Association (PANA) are taking advantage of a different type of voucher – the state government’s sport vouchers program.

Since inception in 2015, Almost 2,000 of the more than 100,000 vouchers issued have gone to clubs in the state’s Far North region, including Port Augusta, helping attract youngsters to sport.

It allows every primary school student to claim a voucher, which is used as a $50 subsidy towards the cost of a sports club fee or membership.

PANA recorded the highest number with 350 users and Committee Member Selina Ashton said PANA is thankful for the program’s help.

And as a proud mum of four, Selina said the best example is her two daughters, seven-year-old Caitlin who she’ll coach this year, and ten-year-old Eliza, both of whom use the voucher.

“ It’s very important, this is Caitlin’s first year of playing, and we’re a very sports orientated family,” Selina said.

“For these two, their playing fees of $90-$100 are slashed in half.”

“Yeah that’s a really good result, it’s good for our numbers and good for the association,” Selina said. The next highest recipients of the sport vouchers in the Far North region were the SANFL (249) and Port Augusta Basketball Association (238). 

Eliza, who plays in mid-court positions such as Centre, Wing Attack and Wing defence, said she’s very thankful for everyone who helps her play netball

“ I like probably playing with friends and spending the day playing netball with my family,” she said.

State Minister for Sport and Recreation Leon Bignell welcomed the positive results.

“I’m particularly delighted to see regions like the Far North showing such a strong uptake of the grant – participation in sport is so important for children in our regions,” he said.

“And quite often regional clubs are the starting point for our sporting stars of the future.”

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