ACCORDING to the results of a survey released by the Armidale Sports Council (ASC) earlier this week, more than 80 per cent of respondents would play more than one sport if the cost of multiple insurance fees could be combined into one fee to cover a number of sports.
The ASC is looking to make a case to the State Government in support of a tax break, to be gained by families and individuals who participate in sport each year.
The average insurance costs associated with sport is often in excess of $300.
With more than 50 per cent of the survey’s respondents in Armidale playing at least one sport, being active has become, well, a costly exercise.
Some 663 people responded to the survey and the results highlight the huge range of sport that the residents of Armidale take part in year-round.
Everything from cycling, golf and walking to soccer, netball and hockey.
It is just as easy to step outside your front door for a lonesome run, but organised sport seems to be the lifeblood of the Australian sporting psyche and we would play more of it if it was not so costly.
Yes, there are the obvious benefits of organised sport in terms of health and well being.
In fact 78 per cent of people who took part in the survey do so to keep fit.
But what about the benefits that are not so obvious?
Having recently moved to Armidale, this sport-crazed, city slicker could run the gorgeous streets of Armidale all day long.
Being new to town, surely the most obvious way for me to meet new people, and have an active social life would be to join one of the many sporting teams?
Sport brings cohesion to a community, and plenty of joy to those who take part.
The choice to be, or not to be involved in sport should not be dependent on cost.
Initiatives, such as the ASC’s push to have insurance fees cover multiple sports, is an exciting development.
It reminds us that sport is important to our community, as more of us continue to making sport a huge part of their lives.
It also reminds me that it’s best that I join a sports team before I go stark raving mad.
Suggestions for my next sporting endeavours are welcome.
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