Children’s sport costs will increase from July 1 unless Administrator Rik Hart can be persuaded to change the operational plan in the final week before it is due to be implemented.
Council has so far refused to budge from a decision to cut its subsidy for junior sport from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.
Council says it provides sports ground hire rates at lower cost than neighbouring councils but Central Coast Sports Council says council is not comparing apples with apples.
Both Hornsby and Lake Macquarie councils carry out all the maintenance on their grounds including line marking and pitch preparation but that is NOT what happens here on the Coast.
Central Coast Council hands over the fields line marked once and then it’s up to the clubs to maintain the line marking, the sports council explained.
Most clubs have to own their own line marking machine or have access to one.
Line Marking Machines are about $2,000 to buy.
“That is a lot of money for a club to find,” the sports council said.
Most clubs have one ground on which there could be two competition fields to line mark and on average they need to be done every 2 weeks.
The average cost of paint for a season is $670 per club but there are clubs that are using more than one ground for competition matches.
“For each ground you can add another $670 to the cost to clubs,” the sports council said.
“The cost to Little Athletics is much greater due to the running tracks and line marking for other disciplines.
“Cricket clubs not only have to undertake line marking they also must maintain their turf wickets along with associated equipment (rollers, mower, super soppers, hoses etc.).
“The cost of a roller is about $35,500, a super sopper starts at $1550 depending on size required and a mower cost is about $5,370 and there is other equipment that is needed to prepare a turf wicket.”
Add another $5,000 per wicket per season to be prepared.
Besides the above cost clubs have to cover insurance, gear, maintenance costs on machinery and equipment to ensure games can be undertaken safely each week.
Club members pay for this.
The Sports Council says clubs are struggling.
A report “Clubs Under Pressure” by the Australian Sports Foundation published last month said almost one in four clubs are considering closing their doors with rising costs impacting participation and pushing many clubs towards insolvency.
“Central Coast families are struggling with the largest annual increase in living costs in more than two decades as multiple interest rate hikes and soaring food, electricity, and other cost of living prices place pressure on the family budget,” the sports council says.
“If Council goes ahead with this reduction in the junior fee, we will see many children being unable to play sport.”
You can email the administrator:
But be quick. He makes his decision on June 27, which is next Tuesday night.