SA Gov’s $100 Sports voucher allocations to be doubled and expanded to include the arts

$54.6m has been committed to the Sports voucher program in the 2024-25 State Budget to double allocations and add music lessons from 2025.

The Malinauskas Labor Government has announced that it will double the support for South Australian families engaging in sports and recreational activities for their children through its Sports Voucher program.

This funding will increase the current provision of $100 sports vouchers to two per child each calendar year, designed to alleviate some of the cost-of-living pressures experienced by families. For the first time, music lessons will also be included, extending the scheme’s benefits beyond sports to embrace the arts.

Revealed in the 2024-25 State Budget, the initiative will receive a substantial injection of $54.6 million over the next four years.

Starting from January 2025, the scope of the vouchers will broaden to cover music lessons, an addition that builds on the earlier inclusion of scouts and guides at the beginning of 2024.

The Sports voucher program was first launched in 2015 and has been lauded as one of the most successful in the country. In 2023 alone, 88,000 vouchers were claimed across South Australia.

MInister for Arts, Andrea Michaels MP said:

“Every South Australian child should have access to the benefits of arts and culture and now through the expansion of our Sports Voucher program, children will be able to receive subsidised music lessons for the first time.”

“Being able to learn an instrument offers incredible benefits for children’s wellbeing and development but the cost of lessons can often be prohibitive.”

“That’s why we have extended the program to make it more affordable for families to enrol their children in music lessons.”

Assistant Minister for Junior Sport Participation, Rhiannon Pearce MP added that “…embracing music benefits both a young person’s development and personal wellbeing – which is why I warmly welcome music lessons to the program.”

The vouchers are available to children from Reception through to Year 9. Over 1,200 providers across South Australia are participating in the program, offering a variety of activities, including Australian rules football, soccer, netball, swimming, and more niche pursuits such as fencing, cheerleading, and roller sports.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Katrine Hildyard MP said:

“We know that involvement in sport and the arts improves physical, emotional and mental wellbeing and allows young people to find their connection to community and build lifelong friendships.”

“We don’t want families to be excluded because they can’t afford the cost of getting their kids involved. This expansion is a crucial step in breaking barriers to participation and helping all South Australian children and young people have the best opportunity to be active, healthy and engaged.”

“Sport should be within the reach of all South Australian families. This investment will help ensure it is.”

To date, South Australian households have saved more than $54 million, highlighting the significant financial relief the program has provided to families.

The enhanced voucher program will start on 1 January 2025. It promises wider access to recreational and educational activities for children throughout South Australia, thereby supporting their overall development and engagement in community life.

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