Little Athletics has shepherded many young Australians onto the track leading to eventual Olympic stardom. Sally Pearson, for one. Pole-vaulter Steve Hooker, another. Clubs have huffed and puffed their way forward on the fumes of a well-worn pair of joggers, kept going by committed parent-volunteers and income stemming from low rego fees.

A future Pearson in the making? Picture: Quest Newspapers

Fewer boys and girls are “taking their marks” because of time and financial pressures on parents, Fairfax reports, leaving clubs in a poor state. And Little A’s clubs are leery about raising entry fees, which generally range between $60 and $130, to ease some of those pressures.

Junior sport can teach kids important lessons about fitness and success. It keeps them doing something productive instead of scrawling toddler hieroglyphics on your walls. But how much can a parent invest in junior sport nowadays? If you’re a parent, how much time and money do you put in to your kids’ sports clubs? And if you’re not, how much would you?

It’s Monday. What’s racing around your minds?

Most commented

133 comments

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    • Samantha says:

      05:40am | 13/08/12

      That’s funny, I thought those really nice people who collect the poker machine takings were financing youth sport.
      Pillars of the community they are, salt of the earth. I hear they donate heaps to the conservative parties of Australia. Right up there with the tobacco industry as model businesses serving the interests of the community and Australia.

    • John from Vaucluse says:

      09:38am | 13/08/12

      I notice that the “Clubs” have plenty of money to advertise their concern for problem gamblers ... akin to administering first aid to the victim after assaulting them ... spot on Samantha.

    • Tim says:

      10:07am | 13/08/12

      Samamtha,

      I hear that the money really goes to aliens to keep their mind control satellites operating so that stupid people keep playing the pokies and earning them a profit.
      its really not their fault, they’re forced to play.

    • Mike E says:

      10:13am | 13/08/12

      There is a chemical in tobacco that makes it addictive, which doesn’t exist for pokies. If you are the sort of person that ruins your life in return for flashing lights and funny sounds you are probably broken and shouldn’t be trusted to function as an adult.

    • Mahhrat says:

      10:29am | 13/08/12

      @Mike E:  That’s kind of the point.

      Gambling is a behavioural addiction.  People can and are addicted by buttons and flashing lights and the promise of an instant reward.

      That’s a medical condition they suffer from, not some bullshit theory that a bunch of leftards concocted to take away your god-given individual right to gamble responsibly.

      So given it’s an illness, and in this way you’re quite right - they cannot be trusted to function as an adult - shouldn’t we do something to help these sick people rather than profit off the back of their illness?

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      10:38am | 13/08/12

      The state should have a monopoly upon profitable enterprises such as gambling.

    • Tim says:

      10:50am | 13/08/12

      Mahhrat,
      If it’s a defined illness then fixing this problem should be easy.
      Anyone diagnosed with this illness should be banned from entering gambling venues. Problem solved.

    • Mahhrat says:

      12:15pm | 13/08/12

      @Tim:  You’re not that stupid and you’re not that disingenuous.  They can be and often will ban themselves…right up until they fall prey to their illness and seek a gambling option again.

      How then do you police such a ban?  Do you seriously expect Police to do this?  They aren’t resourced.

      No, you get the people who want to profit off the machines to police it.  Except they don’t, they won’t and if you seriously believe otherwise, walk into any pub where the RSA isn’t enforced.

      Thus, left to the government to again provide the service given very limited resources, how do you do the most good for the most people in need of help?  You find the balance between your right to gamble and their (and their families’) right to a safe and secure life. 

      IMHO, that means banning poker machines because they are specifically designed to trigger addictive responses and for that reason alone should be gone.

    • Tim says:

      12:54pm | 13/08/12

      Mahhrat,
      my point is it’s not a disease in the regular sense of the word so I was being facetious in that a ban for people who are addicts obviously won’t work.

      They need to take responsibility for themselves, admit they’ve got a problem and get help.
      If they can’t do that then I’m sorry it’s not the government’s job to run people’s lives for them.

      Sure, force the clubs to put more money into gambling addiction programs and give back more money to the community but banning poker machines outright just panders to our nanny state mentality of banning things that a tiny minority of people can’t control.

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      12:55pm | 13/08/12

      Come on, Samantha!
      Until recently we had ALP Socialist Governments across this country. It was those self-same Socialists who allowed Poker machines in. It was those self-same ALP governments which became hooked on the revenue they collected from those machines
      Yes, the Tobacco Industry has given money to the conservative parties - you will probably find out that they also gave money to the ALP as well.
      Like it or not the Tobacco Industry is still a Legal, Commercial operation in Australia. Until the growing, processing & selling of Tobacco products is banned it will remain Legal. Just as State & Territory Governments have become hooked on Pokies Taxes so, too have they & successive Federal Governments become hooked on the Taxes/Excise they collect from the Tobacco Industry.
      It is only in very recent times that any political parties have refused donations from the Tobacco Industry and, like it or loathe it, whilst it is Legal they have every right to give their money to anyone who will take it.
      Your Soicalist ALP accepts donations of money from the Unions, doesn’t it?
      Where does that money, Samantha, come from? The Members. The Union bosses simply take a percentage of those Union Member’s dues (one Union I was involved with took 7%) &, without the written permission of each Union member, hand it over to your precious Socialist ALP.
      Is that fair? is it honest? or are they simply stealing Union Member’s money?
      Even you died-in-the-wool Socialist ALP supporters must admit that not all Union members actually support the ALP at the ballot box. So why, Samantha, is it acceptable for the Union Bosses to steal their member’s money & give it to a political party (ALP) which at least 50% or more of those members would never, ever support?
      Clean up your own backyard. Stop the acceptance of Stolen Money by the ALP.
      Then, having cleaned up your own nastiness, work to ban the Tobacco Industry, make the growing, processing & sale of all tobacco products Illegal.
      Until you have put a complete stop to the underhand, dishonest practices of your own can you criticise others for accepting money from, at present, Legal Sources.

    • Gregg says:

      06:22am | 13/08/12

      I suspect most parents treat costs of their children activities in anything as just part of life and like all things it’ll vary to extent of input whether it be money or time.

      It’s a bit like Todays News Headlines and you wonder for a moment whether it’s something about deep throat when you read ”  Thrope: Just shut up about the stupid ‘gay’ thing “
      Surely enough effort can be made to get the name right for one of the planets all time great swimmers.

    • Little Joe says:

      06:32am | 13/08/12

      My son (Year 10) played in the First IV Tennis Trial on the weekend, winning in 4-6 7-5 6-4.

      The cost of raising a raising a good club tennis junior player is approximately $3,000/annum. A cost breakdown was provided in an unpublished story to The Punch after Australians were complaining about our poor performance at Wimbledon. I have been informed that the costs increase to $20,000-$30,000 for a full-time junior tennis player.

      $130/annum for Athletics Fees ...... I wish my son loved to run around a track!!!

    • RG says:

      08:45am | 13/08/12

      If it makes you feel any better, that $130 a year is JUST the registration fee.

      After equipment (competitive running does require proper running shoes for most athletes, it gives them an edge) travel, accommodation, registration fees for other competitions, it probably costs the same to have a runner as it does a tennis player.

    • Nix says:

      10:03am | 13/08/12

      Liitle Joe you sound like you resent having to pay the cost of your “winning” son’s tennis fees, if that’s the case don’t.

      Ultimately the decision is yours, no one’s forcing you to pay the fees.

    • The Other Martin says:

      11:33am | 13/08/12

      My son does archery - 90% of the funds go to the bureaucracy - all the local clubs are run by volunteers paying their own way; but the state organisation MUST have permanent employees - who HAVE to attend all the country wide meetings etc. The sport is being run for the benefit of those in the state organisation rather then the people playing the sport. I guess it the same everywhere. Did we send more competitors or more ‘non-competitors’ to the Olympics?

    • Little Joe says:

      01:27pm | 13/08/12

      @ RG

      At $150 for a set of tennis shoes, we always buy the brand that have a 6-month warranty.

      @ Nix

      Not at all. It was just to inform people of the reality of how much it could cost to raise an Open Tennis Champion. I just dislike people whinging about paying a few hundred dollars on football/athletics fees for their children when many of these people that I know would not blink at spending $20 on cigarettes every other day.

      @ The Other Martin

      I know how you feel about professional administration. Isn’t that why there was a split in cricket and tennis. Bradman and Rosewell scratching to buy shoes while the gentlemen in admin drank whiskey paid for by money collected from gate fees.

      I think that you will find that Bradman was told that he could not be paid to write for a Newspaper while on an Ashes Tour as it was seen to be Professionalism. Bradman stated that if that was the case he couldn’t play for Australia because he had signed a contract and, as a gentleman, he was bound by his word. Needless to say, there was a compromise.

    • GC says:

      06:41am | 13/08/12

      I reckon giving your kids opportunities can’t be compromised. For me food water, a roof over my family’s head then kid’s opportunities are my priorities. If I have a bit of coin left over (which luckily I often do) i’ll buy some beer or do something for myself and wife, but giving your kids opportunities is a priority. By opportunities I mean education, sporting pursuits as well as anything else they may have an interest in such as ballet or music lessons. I believe you must sacrifice what you have to to give them the best start to life, and also to find their niche whatever that may be. Of course there is the unlikely chance that they may become an internationally renowned athlete or piano player, but more importantly if they find something that they enjoy every part of there life will be more successful.

    • Sickemrex says:

      07:28am | 13/08/12

      $150 a semester for swimming lessons from 6 months of age.  9 semesters later the dollars are racking up but worth it for a useful and potentially life saving skill.  Oh, and she likes it!

    • Nix says:

      09:57am | 13/08/12

      Wait until she gets into squads, $175 a month. Minimum session 6 times @ 2.5 hours a session. Early morning (4.30am) starts

      Competing almost every second weekend at upwards of $15 entry per event.

      Plus nippers and it’s associated costs on top.

      But as you say it’s worth it, I know my almost 12 year old could rescue me if i got into trouble out in the ocean.

    • Sickemrex says:

      11:40am | 13/08/12

      Yeah, if she wants to do squad and or nippers that’s ok. Better than xbox or Barbie. And I get to go for a swim or run at the same time, win-win grin.

    • M says:

      07:45am | 13/08/12

      Rossi has finally given up on the Ducati and will re-sign with Yamaha for next year. Here’s hoping he nails his tenth world title.

    • Dan says:

      09:35am | 13/08/12

      Thanks for your well thought out and insightful input into the issue at hand…

      We are actually discussing junior sport in Australia, not Italian Superbike riders.

      My brother was an extremely promising young athlete and was proving himself in a number of disciplines at our local club. But when he started beating the local favourite, and the club president’s son, he started getting disqualified, regularly. The politics in these organisations is sometimes the worst part. After beating his all time PB and smashing the local favourites best time, he was disqualified for no apparent reason. Apparently the club president had seen him step on the line or something… After that, my brother told Dad he never wanted to race again. As far as i know he hasn’t. The government needs to do more to support and advocate sport in our young Australians… not just talk about it. Thanks for the warm breeze though Julia…

    • M says:

      09:48am | 13/08/12

      It’s the open thread einstein, I can write what i want.

    • SimpleSimon says:

      09:52am | 13/08/12

      @Dan - it’s the open thread, M can talk about whatever he wants! Now you just look like a muppet.

    • Ben C says:

      09:53am | 13/08/12

      @ Dan

      This is the Open Thread, we’re allowed to discuss whatever we want.

    • rdlc says:

      09:58am | 13/08/12

      he can do it and will put the fun factor back in

    • Michael says:

      10:08am | 13/08/12

      Good work Dan.

      You been waiting to stick it to M or something? maybe next time smile

    • Elphaba says:

      10:24am | 13/08/12

      “It’s Monday. What’s racing around your minds?”

      *smirk*  I’d say M’s post was rather on-topic.

    • M says:

      10:32am | 13/08/12

      @Rdlc, it’ll be fantastic to see what he can do on a competitive bike again. The last two seasons have definitly been a little tame with Rossi not challenging Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner for the lead.

      It’s a shame Stoner has decided to leave as well, I’d love to see a battle between the two on competitive machinery.

    • Sickemrex says:

      11:46am | 13/08/12

      Rossi rides Motogp not Superbikes in case no-one’s mentioned it. M, have you seen Fastest yet. It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling about Rossi that I had lost. That said, I think I’ll barrack for Pedrosa next year.

      I can’t imagine how much Stoner’s parents have forked out over the last 20 years.

    • M says:

      12:03pm | 13/08/12

      I haven’t seen fastest, I’ve heard about it though. I’ll source a bootleg copy from somewhere. It’d want to restore the faith, because Rossi has shown his apparent claims to talent to be a little dubious whilst aboard the Ducati when you compare his efforts to those of Stoner and Hayden.

      That said, maybe he just doesn’t suit the Duke. I see that Dovi now has Rossi’s ride for next year, will it be another career ended?

      I’m not sure Pedrosa has it in him to win a championship. That Honda was built around him, and he only gave it a run along when Stoner joined the team and won last year’s championship. I’ll be keenly watching Marquez, Bradl, Ianonne and Bautista next year.

      And I reckon Stoner’s parents have seen their investment returned tenfold. Lucky for them, as they basically gave up their lives so their son could pursue his dream.

    • Sickemrex says:

      01:16pm | 13/08/12

      Pedrosa just has this underpuppy quality I like. I know he probably doesn’t have the overtaking skills needed but if Motogp ever became time trails he’d go well. I think Crutchlow and Bradl are super talented, they’ll give Jorge a run in the coming years. I hope Ducati doesn’t destroy Dovi.

    • Shane* says:

      02:17pm | 13/08/12

      So I’m confused. Who’s the best rider in the world? Stoner, Pedrosa or Rossi? It all seems a bit confusing when it basically boils down to who has the best engine.

      Meanwhile, in real sports, we see that Lionel Messi is the best soccer player in the world, regardless of the boots he’s wearing.

      Just havin’ a larf.

    • M says:

      02:54pm | 13/08/12

      Once again, shane has demonstrated his total ignorance with regards to motorcycle racing.

      Rossi currently has the best engine shane. Why isn’t he winning?

      SCRex, I used to like pedrosa too, but imo he folds under pressure too readily.

    • Shane* says:

      03:08pm | 13/08/12

      Then why would a change from Ducati to Yamaha give him a better chance to win? Seems a bit weird to me.

      But then again, I grew up being told that sports were about the best athlete winning, not the person with the best equipment.

    • Sickemrex says:

      03:07pm | 13/08/12

      @ Shane.  Depends what you mean. Currently, Lorenzo.  The world champion is Stoner.  Rossi has the best record.  Take your pick.

    • M says:

      03:18pm | 13/08/12

      That’ll be too confusing for him. Anyway, motorcycle racing isn’t really a sport according to him.

    • Shane* says:

      03:30pm | 13/08/12

      @sickemrex,

      So basically if you took the 5 best riders in the world, and put them in a race together, it wouldn’t actually determine who has the most ability since it largely boils down to the engine? How odd.

      It’s weird, because I googled ‘Who is the best motorcyclist in the world’ and got a few pages of ‘the best motorcycle in the world is dot dot dot.’ People discuss the bikes, the tires and the engines at length before anyone began to discuss the person aboard the bike.

    • M says:

      03:41pm | 13/08/12

      What makes you think it comes down to who has the best engine?

    • Sickemrex says:

      03:54pm | 13/08/12

      @ Shane. Gosh this is hard. I said nothing about the bikes. By your logic I’d be world champion on the right bike. (In my dreams.) I’ll spell it out. If you put the 5 best riders on good bikes suited to each rider over 5 races, the champion would be whoever did the best over 5 races. Seems obvious.

    • Sickemrex says:

      03:55pm | 13/08/12

      @ Shane. Gosh this is hard. I said nothing about the bikes. By your logic I’d be world champion on the right bike. (In my dreams.) I’ll spell it out. If you put the 5 best riders on good bikes suited to each rider over 5 races, the champion would be whoever did the best over 5 races. Seems obvious.

    • Shane* says:

      04:19pm | 13/08/12

      The fact that there isn’t a consensus #1 isn’t my concern. My concern is that consensus #1 isn’t a discussion of ‘Rider X has the best cornering ability but Rider Y has the best overtaking ability’ and other debate about abilities.

      It seems to be largely a discussion of ‘Rider X rode Ducati while Rider Y had a Yamaha under him, so how could Rider X possibly hope to compete?!’

      See, in tennis or soccer or cycling we debate about the ability of the athlete to perform. I’ve never heard anyone sincerely argue that Messi is better than Ronaldo because Adidas make better boots than Nike. In Motorsport people largely debate the bike first, rider second. For example, your original post.

    • thatmosis says:

      07:59am | 13/08/12

      Me, I’m waiting for the Illegal Immigrant committees report which will probably be full and in-depth but absolutely useless unless it appeals to all three parties.
        I would also like to see the cost of this committee for the Australian Tax payer when a simple solution has been on the table since day one of this almost Governments term, the number of illegal immigrants who have taken advantage of the taxi service run by this almost Government, the entire cost to the Australian Tax Payer for this almost Governments inability to do anything except blame others for its own problems.
        Lets see the figures or would that put the final nail in the already sealed coffin of this shambles of a almost Government.
        Of course whatever the outcome the Labor Party will try and blame everybody but themselves as usual as this is what we have come to expect from them instead of positive action.
        My prediction is that from a committee paid for by the almost Government will return a solution that is almost identical to that which this almost Government has been flogging for 4 years now and we will be back where we started, nowhere but the open door policy will continue as will the millions of Tax payers dollars being spent on non Australians when there are those in Australia who could certainly use it, like the poor and homeless.

    • Dash says:

      08:37am | 13/08/12

      You can bet that whenever the ALP hold something up as “expert” and “independent”, it is the complete opposite. As if this government would organise a committee to produce a report other than one completely aligned to their view.

      Ask yourself who hand picked this “expert” panel???

      You only have to look at the ALPs citizens assembly on climate change which turned into a climate committee with all members 100% aligned to the ALP green coalition.

      Look at the Henry report. The ALP wouldn’t allow the GST to be considered and then told us it was a root and branch review! They directed him in what he could do and then tried to claim it was “independent”.

      The “expert” that looked into the BER rorts was an ALP sympathiser that had history of writing reports supporting the ALP. Gillard’s mate.

      The ALP pays Tim Flannery over $300K a year to generate their propaganda. How many times have they tried to tell us he’s independent and an expert? The last time he warned us of a never ending drought, we had the Brisbane flood!

      The ALP has been stacking Fairwork with ex Union head kickers and theyy want to tell us they are independent.

      And we have a media inquiry whitch hunt whenever anyone prepares a view not aligned to the ALP morons in Canberra.

      Take whatever comes out of this report with a grain of salt.

      The ALP are trying to fabricate a high ground on an issue they have been a dismal failure on. Remember Gillards announcement on the eve of last election of the East Timor Solution that never existed! Remember the ALPs promise of a Coast Guard in 2007. They shut Naru and removed TPVs. The ALP are in a position of their own making. Everything they touch turns to shit.

    • Mouse says:

      08:38am | 13/08/12

      Front page of the Australian today says that senior Labor figures are even saying to open Nauru now.  Hope they flew that one past gillard before they talked to the journalists. Isn’t she gonna be pissed?  Now she can blame her own ministers for everything. Ah the sun’s shining, the warmer days are coming, now more people to blame stuff on and she still doesn’t have to make a decision…. it doesn’t get much better than this!!  lol :o)

    • Tim says:

      10:13am | 13/08/12

      There’s more than one solution available right now.

      But Tony Abbott knows he’s on to a good thing being beligerant on this issue. It’s easy political point scoring.

      Who cares about the national interest?

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      11:34am | 13/08/12

      Yes to granting illegal immigrants TPVs, having no access to the welfare system or permanent residency / Australian citizenship and repatriation where possible, no to off shore detention- too expensive on the taxpayer. Howard wasted too much money with Nauru and Gillard is wasting too much money with Christmas Island

    • Dash says:

      03:19pm | 13/08/12

      Seems the panel of “Experts” has recommended a return to the policies that the ALP rejected and threw out.

      Boat arrivals data make interesting reading:

      Number of Boats under Howards LNP (TPVs and Naru):

      2002-1
      2003-1
      2004-1
      2005-4
      2006-6
      2007-5
      2008-7

      Number of boats under the ALP since scrapping the LNP policies:

      2009-61
      2010-134
      2011-69
      YTD2012-110

      Gillard as a member of the opposition, made it absolutely clear that her policy was to remove the LNPs policies that were working. To shut Naru and to remove temporary protection Visas. This issue is of her own creation and the creation of the lefty morons in control of the federal ALP.

    • Mahhrat says:

      08:07am | 13/08/12

      Little Athletics are suffering from work/life balance issues.  The funniest part is that we do it to ourselves, convinced we need the 4 bedroom house with the perfectly manicured lawn and Miele appliances (I’m looking at you, Harvey).

      It’s not $130 for the kids to take part in Athletics.  It’s $130 plus $30 for fuel and parking plus 4 hours mum or dad could be working.  When you realise it’s another $130 each time mum takes the kids up the park, no wonder it’s a treat and not a routine occurrence.

      You make choices.  Next time you sit on your $4000 couch for exactly 37 minutes while you finish that report your boss wants, ask yourself again why your kids don’t seem to talk to you any more.

    • M says:

      08:25am | 13/08/12

      Yeee haw, more from the Jesus Cheer squad.

      “ENRAGED spouses who kill their unfaithful partners should be afforded a partial defence to criminal charges, according to a Christian lobby group.
      FamilyVoice Australia also wants the partial defence of provocation made available to people motivated to kill by unwelcome and aggressive sexual advances, in what critics have labelled a “gay panic” defence.

      A NSW upper house inquiry is examining the partial defence, which permits alleged murderers to face the lesser charge of manslaughter if the victim’s actions incited them to violence.

      In its submission, FamilyVoice warned against following Queensland’s move to “recognise a person’s right to assert their personal or sexual autonomy”.

      “This seems to imply the extraordinary proposition that no one - including husbands and wives - has any right to expect fidelity or lifelong commitment in a relationship,” it says.

      “The exclusion would effectively rule out the classic case of a husband unexpectedly arriving home to find his wife engaged in a sexual act with another man.

      “While not excusing violence resulting in death, these circumstances have traditionally been held to warrant a reduction in the seriousness of the offence from murder to manslaughter.”

      The NSW inquiry was called after Sydney man Chamanjot Singh received a six-year sentence for using a Stanley knife to murder his wife, whom he believed had been unfaithful.

      Three states - Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania - abolished the partial defence last decade, but the defence has been backed by NSW’s Law Council, Law Reform Commission and Women’s Electoral Lobby.

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/infidelity-a-defence-for-murder-say-christians/story-e6frg6nf-1226448727922

    • Mouse says:

      09:07am | 13/08/12

      Doncha just love the Jesus Cheer Squad!  You better behave yourself then M because if you do then you can sleep with both eyes shut. lol

      PS Scotchfinger says to take it easy on the weed man. He worries about you I think! lol   :o)

    • M says:

      09:26am | 13/08/12

      I love the jesus cheersquad and their policy of Doing unto others as you would have done unto you*.


      *Terms and conditions apply.


      Cause apparently it’s the Christian thing to kill your spouse if they’ve been cheating on you.

    • James1 says:

      10:00am | 13/08/12

      I guess that means adultery is considered worse than murder by FamilyVoice Australia. 

      I am always surprised that people can allow their basic decency to be skewed by ancient books.

    • fml says:

      10:20am | 13/08/12

      So is the christian version of sharia law?

      Bloody religious taking over the country.

    • Tim says:

      11:11am | 13/08/12

      Wow,
      I read that completely different to you.

      It’s got nothing to do with a Jesus Cheer squad and everything to do with whether there should be a partial defence for murder (ie downgraded to manslaughter) for provocation.

      On the face of it, there would be good arguments from both sides as to whether we need a provocation defence in law.

      The example given could just as easily have been an abused wife who kills her husband in a rage.

    • Lilly says:

      11:19am | 13/08/12

      That’s horrific. I don’t care if your spouse slept with every person in their office you do not have an excuse to brutally murder them. I don’t understand how people who conciously go out of their way to kill someone can only get 6 years. It’s just wrong and terrifying that they are deemed fit to wander our streets.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      11:27am | 13/08/12

      It would be much easier if marriage was a business contract with penalties built for infidelity. Say $50,000 for a proven case of infidelity or maybe termination of the contract. A guaranteed payout for the kids upon termination of the contract. The contract should be for 10 to 20 years with option to renew at the end of it.

    • M says:

      11:32am | 13/08/12

      “The example given could just as easily have been an abused wife who kills her husband in a rage. “

      And one would wonder why it has the support from the Women’s electoral lobby?

    • Rep for FVA says:

      12:10pm | 13/08/12

      yes sorry about that. We are in fact stupid, a stupid organisation. Please accept our apologies for being stupid.

    • M says:

      12:47pm | 13/08/12

      @ FVA rep, it’s good that you can comes to terms with it.

    • fml says:

      01:47pm | 13/08/12

      So how many people will magically become christian, the moment they realise they have been caught?

      Hang on, thats a pretty decent recruitment ploy…

    • M says:

      02:07pm | 13/08/12

      Well, I suppose they can only push the peadophile travel agency angle for so long.

    • Lee says:

      08:49am | 13/08/12

      My kids are in little As it will cost me $260 for two.  Compared to my kids other sport, ice skating, it is nothing. $65 each for five weeks of skate school, $35 per 1 on 1 coaching session plus $15 for ring entry. Up to $65 for entry to a competition. Thankfully only a couple a year. $278 for her last pair of boots (I got them cheap) and I know of kids who pay $1200 who are in higher levels. and my son want to start ice hockey. No such thing as a rich parent when your kids are on ice. I know of some parents whos kids are in higher levels pay up to $20,000 a year, but that does include a comp and or camp or two overseas. But what can you do, if they love a sport you do your best to let them be able to do it. The biggest thing I find for Little A’s is getting them awake, fed, dressed and at the oval by 8.30am

    • Nix says:

      10:13am | 13/08/12

      No chance at squads swimming with it’s 4.45am starts then ?

    • iansand says:

      08:50am | 13/08/12

      Ha!  Chicken feed!!  Whatever you do, do not let your kid fall into the hands of the skiing interschools juggernaut.  It is when they start suggesting a summer training camp in the northern hemisphere that you know you are in serious trouble.

    • Dash says:

      09:15am | 13/08/12

      Bloody Collingwood!!!

    • Ben C says:

      09:28am | 13/08/12

      We should’ve won it, Dash, we had more scoring shots, we created more opportunities. Two factors:

      1. We couldn’t kick straight.
      2. Some obvious free kicks weren’t paid - high tackles, Cloke’s last goal when he had a hand in Grundy’s back.

      I think we should take confidence in the fact that we had that much more attacking play than Collingwood did, we just need to finish it off. We can beat them with this team.

    • Elphaba says:

      10:02am | 13/08/12

      Too many options to widen the gap and Sydney cocked them up.

      Watching Adam Goodes get yelled at on the phone by the coach was pretty funny though…

      What do you reckon - Sydney V Collingwood GF?  I think it’s a strong possibility…

    • Mahhrat says:

      10:39am | 13/08/12

      Sydney v Collingwood perhaps, though Sydney’s got to prove to me they can play on the bigger ground.

      Seriously though, I would tell the AFL to rack off the next time they want to move a home game to Homebush.

      It’s disgraceful that we only have half a dozen serious AFL venues.  Every club should be required to provide their own ground.  That simple.

    • Dash says:

      11:14am | 13/08/12

      @Ben - Yes Sydney created enough opportunities to win the game. But credit to Collingwood. They stopped Sydney at the stoppages which is where they have excelled this year. They were very fierce around ball ups and throw ins. Goodes was just terrible. Jack ran into an open goal and missed. LRT ran in and missed. Goodes butchered one in the goal square and kicked one on the full. I lost my voice yelling out! Alan Didak is a little…..

      Better that performance now than in five weeks time!

      @Elph - yep. They were 17 points up and let the pies back into it late in the third term. I don’t know about the GF. Swans still have Hawthorn and Geelong before the seasons end. I think they need to finish top two and get those two home finals first. Adelaide for mine will finish top. They have GC, Melbourne and Brisbane. I can’t see them dropping any of those games. Two home finals for Adelaide? Don’t write them off for making the GF.

      @Mahhrat - yes but they would not have got 45,000 into the SCG on Sat. The Bradman stand is not there!

    • TimB says:

      11:30am | 13/08/12

      See if you lot had been watching the Canterbury vs Brisbane game as I did, you would have avoided this crushing disappointment wink

    • Ben C says:

      11:58am | 13/08/12

      Beating the Broncos in their current form is nothing to celebrate, TimB.

      Especially having to do it coming from behind.

      wink

      Seriously though, Dogs should have the minor premiership wrapped up, and Ben Barba deserves to be favourite for Dally.

    • Elphaba says:

      01:33pm | 13/08/12

      @TimB, the only way I would have avoided crushing disappointment is if the Bulldogs caught on fire whilst on the field… tongue laugh

    • TimB says:

      01:58pm | 13/08/12

      See Elph, this is why you should have been watching, that’s already happened.

      As Ben has mentioned, Ben Barba is clearly….on fire.

      cool smile

      YEEEEAAAAAAH

    • Elphaba says:

      02:19pm | 13/08/12

      @TimB, oh noes, a CSI Miami joke!!

      Goodness, that show was rubbish… tongue laugh

    • Ben C says:

      02:48pm | 13/08/12

      @ Elphaba

      CSI Miami - I only ever watched the first 5 minutes of the show to see what rubbish line David Caruso was made to say each episode.

    • Elphaba says:

      03:11pm | 13/08/12

      @Ben C, I caught some later episodes - the blonde woman who does the ballistics, she’s had an awful lot of filler pumped into her face.  That’s disappointing, she was so pretty….

    • bella starkey says:

      09:38am | 13/08/12

      My sister did equestrian.

      nuff said.

    • Anubis says:

      10:05am | 13/08/12

      I take it then that your parents couldn’t get her in to a sport?

    • Ryan says:

      10:35am | 13/08/12

      Oooooo unkind….....................hilarious, but unkind.

    • bella starkey says:

      10:59am | 13/08/12

      She’s a big girl, not very athletic. Feel sorry for the horse.

    • Francis Thomas says:

      09:41am | 13/08/12

      As someone who has competed at a state and national level in little athletics, the issue is greater than the one you described.  It seemed to me that the highest levels of administration, at least at a state, regional, and zone levels,  was infected by people who seemed to be more interested in forming an “officials club” and having the enjoyment of enforcing their rules rather than providing the best possible conduit for the formation of young athletes.

      For instance at a zone level, I witnessed a 12 year old athlete who had travelled ~100 kms to attend the championships being refused entry to competition as his club had accidentally left him off the list when they submitted their entries.  For reference, even at the Olympics when a shot putter was left of the list they let her compete.  Another time they wouldn’t let a young athlete out of the area of competition when she needed to attend the bathroom and informed her if she left to relieve herself she would be disqualified.

      An even more disturbing incident was at a state level when one of the athlete’s mother collapsed in the spectators area and one of the officials refused to let the 14 year old athlete out of the competition area to see if his mother was alright, telling him he would be disqualified if he left the area.  If I remember correctly it came to blows.  To their credit, the state body suspend the official from further events.

      Another issue to my mind was the way that they treated the 14 and 15 year old athletes like small children.  During marshaling for events it was common practice to get these athletes to form long neat lines sitting on the ground for up to 20 minutes before an event.  This silly practice also removed the ability of the athletes to stay limber for events that they were about to compete in.

      Having said all this it would be unfair of me not to say that the large majority of the officials were volunteers and were freely giving their time to the young athletes.

    • M says:

      10:30am | 13/08/12

      In my experience, wherever you have kids activities run by volunteers you’ll always find some little napolean intent on putting the boot on someone’s neck just to give them their weekly ego trip. Saw it all the time when I was in Cadets.

    • Alexis says:

      09:52am | 13/08/12

      We did Little A last summer with my daughter and a bigger waste of time I have yet to see.  I realise that it is parent run, but it was so frustratingly badly organised it defied logic.  Over three hours they did 2 or maybe 3 events.  The kids just hung around looking bored.  There was no improvement in her athletic ability or gross motor skills at all.  In the end she was less interested in athletics.  Definitely won’t be repeating that torture!

    • Anubis says:

      10:12am | 13/08/12

      Get her in to Scouts. Much more engaging activities. My son has been in Cubs and then Scouts for the past 4 years (he is now 12). His self-confidence and sporting prowess have increased amazingly. He was originally in an Athletics club and he was very disappointed with it as they did the same thing every meeting. In Scouts they get sporting activities (currently abseiling, rockclimbing and cycling) as well as community based activities. Personal challenges are there for all the kids in trying to gain their achievement badges. A much more rounded programme than most sports clubs can offer.

    • Nix says:

      10:48am | 13/08/12

      @Alexis - guessing from your comment that you didn’t jump in and help run things then.

      Parents like you give me the $h!t$.

      Complaining about how badly organised things are whilst acknowledging it’s run by volunteers but not even willing to step up and help out in any way.

      As far as those who do put in the effort to run it, not having your child there will be one less child they have to ‘mind’ whilst you stand around gossiping with your friends whilst sipping your coffee.

    • bretto80 says:

      11:13am | 13/08/12

      Hear, hear Nix. Alexis You are a whinger. Time to get involved!

    • Anubis says:

      11:14am | 13/08/12

      @ Nix - that is unnecessary. A lot of these groups are run by a clique and even if parents are interested in getting involved from that side it can be very difficult to crack that clique. Your comments, made without knowing the circumstances, are just unnecessarily rude and abusive.

    • Ben C says:

      11:43am | 13/08/12

      @ Nix

      You’ve obviously had a blessed run at volunteering at children’s sports clubs. I know of people who have been life members of clubs as players (10 years or more), but have been turned away from doing any organising or coaching work just because someone else doesn’t like them. They’ve volunteered every year, until one year they get told their services are not required, because “all positions have been filled”.

      It’s not as easy as you think it is, especially when you have to deal with personalities.

    • willie says:

      12:54pm | 13/08/12

      This is how I remember athletics as a kid.
      We would sit in a line for half an hour get bored shitless then throw a javelin once. Then the two adults running the show would get their kids up to show us how we were meant to do it.
      Get your kids into team sports, much more fun for the players and spectators.

    • Alexis says:

      02:40pm | 13/08/12

      Actually, I did volunteer my time and so did my husband.  We were out there almost every Saturday morning helping with set up and then cooking the bbq and in the canteen. One of us also helped my daughters group with their events and tried to keep them entertained in between.  Is that involved enough for you?  Even if I hadn’t done all that I am entitled to an opinion.
      We did all those things to help my daughter.  Unfortunately we weren’t on the commitee and didn’t get a say in how the morning was actually run timing wise.

    • Elissa says:

      10:00am | 13/08/12

      It is when you have more than 1 child and they do more than 1 out of school activity it starts to add up. You pay the cost (Martial arts for one, swimming the next and Baseball the third) - then the additioanl costs of uniforms, shoes, and teh fun raising then try and get three kids to three different activities, quite often on a Saturday at the same time. And then the next year they change sport (or grow - why do they grow so much) and you have to buy all new uniforms again

      We also have our three doing piano lessons as well, at least I have been able to schedule all of these lessons on one afternoon. I picked piano as I only had to buy one instrument and they coudl all share.

      Then there is a youth group to get to one night a week, one is begging for scouts, one has a newspaper delivery route (to fund a Lego habit).

      The time and money demands never stop.

      But seeing the joy on their faces (through your own sleep weary eyes) makes it all worth it.

    • Patty says:

      11:37am | 13/08/12

      I agree wholeheartedly with you Elissa. I am in the same boat though mine are younger and i am contemplating getting number 3 into his desired activity/ies. It isn’t just the cost outlay -it’s the time and the timing.

      And yes, if they love it and enjoy it - why not. smile I like the newspaper route to fund the lego habit too wink

    • PC says:

      10:37am | 13/08/12

      I grew up in a family where you did a sport in summer and you did a sport in winter. Netball and Softball were my sports. I chose to do the same with my son but it was Athletics and Aussie Rules. He did Little A’s for 10 years. He went from being the last one across the line in the 400m (and in tears) to being a very good distance runner, who now runs for pleasure. His Aussie Rules is continuing with the local club and as they get older and into the higher grades you do spend more.
      Sports can be expensive - boots/runners, rego, travel, uniform, etc - but if the kids love it and if it keeps them fit and happy (and out of trouble) I am all for it.
      Sport isn’t for every child out there. Both the athletics club and the footy club rely on volunteers. I spend many a Saturday morning watching people drop off their kids and go (it was called the drop and dash). You had to act as babysitters for children who just didn’t want to be there; while you were trying to help and encourage the ones that did.

    • Becca says:

      10:45am | 13/08/12

      Kids are just a never-ending money pit. Our 3 all dance, including competitions and exams, and it probably come in at about $10,000 each. Then they also do music lessons each, at $35 per half hour. Youngest does karate, which is only about $250 a term for her to go twice a week. But it is not just the financial cost of the fees, but the time taken to drive them all over the place. It is clearly a choice we have made, but it is not a cheap one!

    • Blackadder says:

      10:52am | 13/08/12

      My thoughts:

      1) The rising cost of annual fees in junior sport - in many cases, it appears to be all attributed to public liability insurance, from those I chat with on sporting club committees. All the frivolous claims by precious parents and wimp kids over the years is starting to bite. As a mate lamented…it shouldn’t cost $300 each for a couple of kids to play a season of junior rugby. We should be encouraging kids to play sport, not discouraging them. PS. If you think little A’s is expensive, try supporting kids that love dance/ballet etc. You need a second job given how outrageously expensive they are !!!

      2) A lot of teenagers work part-time jobs on weekends, which is also leading to the less kids playing weekend sport.

      3) The ususal one that doesn’t need to be stated…parents working weekends, ultimately the kids suffer in that aspect of life.

      Just seems to be a sign of the times, unfortunately.

    • Colin says:

      10:54am | 13/08/12

      I put absolutely NOTHING into supporting or paying for my children’s sporting activities. They are fit and healthy and run, ride bikes, and swim and surf. Organised sport and clubs only lead to competition, “One up-manship”, and the god awful fear that one of them may want to bludge off the Orshtryan taxpayer by becoming an “Athlete”...

      Thank goodness our local library is a free activity.

    • M says:

      11:03am | 13/08/12

      What’s wrong with competition?

    • Colin says:

      11:52am | 13/08/12

      @M 11:03am | 13/08/12
      “What’s wrong with competition?”

      Everything.

      “Competition is to self-esteem as sugar is to teeth. Most people lose in most competitive encounters, and it’s obvious why that causes self-doubt. But even winning doesn’t build character; it just lets a child gloat temporarily. Studies have shown that feelings of self-worth become dependent on external sources of evaluation as a result of competition: Your value is defined by what you’ve done. Worse—you’re a good person in proportion to the number of people you’ve beaten.

      In a competitive culture, a child is told that it isn’t enough to be good—he must triumph over others. Success comes to be defined as victory, even though these are really two very different things. Even when the child manages to win, the whole affair, psychologically speaking, becomes a vicious circle: The more he competes, the more he needs to compete to feel good about himself…”

      - http://www.alfiekohn.org/parenting/tcac.htm

    • M says:

      12:07pm | 13/08/12

      And so what happens when your child enters the competitive workforce?

      You’re setting your child up for failure in life imo.

    • Tim says:

      12:27pm | 13/08/12

      I’m betting that Colin is part of the reasons why teachers can’t reward good behaviour/results in classes anymore because doing so might make the other kids feel bad or inferior.
      No one can ever fail anything because they might get hurt feelings.

      Long live mediocrity.

    • Colin says:

      12:52pm | 13/08/12

      @M 12:07pm | 13/08/12
      “And so what happens when your child enters the competitive workforce?”

      They all already work. They have degrees, they are fulfilled by their work and their lives; they have no need to compete. They are successful because they are good at what they do.  grin

      ————————————

      @Tim 12:27pm | 13/08/12
      “I’m betting that Colin is part of the reasons why teachers can’t reward good behaviour/results in classes anymore…”

      My children excelled at school. They were well-behaved students, and they now have successful careers, wonderful families, and fulfilling lives. Nothing mediocre about them.

    • Colin says:

      12:54pm | 13/08/12

      P.s. The one’s that have left home, that is grin

      The ones that are left I still have no input into their “sports”

    • miloinacup says:

      01:15pm | 13/08/12

      Colin - you do realise that in order to get into their current jobs they had to compete, right? You know, those little things called job interviews where employers talk to a bunch of people with similar qualifications and experience and decide which one is the best for the position?

    • Tim says:

      01:35pm | 13/08/12

      Colin,
      so your kids are succeeding in competitions outside of sports?
      University/Careers/Family?

      This must be affecting them extremely negatively, how do they cope?

      They better quit their jobs before they have to compete with others to get a promotion. How will they feel if they lose out?

    • Colin says:

      02:03pm | 13/08/12

      @miloinacup 01:15pm | 13/08/12
      @Tim 01:35pm | 13/08/12

      Your attitude to life is the very reason we live in such a biased, unfair society; stuck in a capitalist dogma driven fug where “success” is measured by the amount of money you get paid to buy more of the trappings of a consumerist society, so that you can brag to your equally deluded brethren and get “One up” on your neighbour, you sneer at anyone who would DARE question the pig-ignorant, “Step on everyone else to get somewhere” credo…Small minded attitudes of small-minded people.

      Fact is, if everyone followed the credo of NOT competing the world would be a better, fairer, and happier place.

    • M says:

      02:19pm | 13/08/12

      Fact is, you have to compete to survive.

    • Colin says:

      02:33pm | 13/08/12

      @M 02:19pm | 13/08/12
      “Fact is, you have to compete to survive.”

      Wrong.

      When we were hunter-gatherers eking out a living competing against other species for resources, sure. But as civilised human-beings (supposedly) co-existing in a (supposedly) fair and equitable society, their is no such “competition”; the only “competition” (and so many such arguments for it) is that which you have been inculcated with by rampant consumerism.

      Modern egalitarian societies have no need for competitive behaviour because we have food, clothing and shelter and we do no need to beat each other up - physically or metaphorically - to obtain it.

    • AdamC says:

      02:58pm | 13/08/12

      Colin, are you playing a little joke here?

      You cannot really have a problem with friendly, healthy competition. Indeed, as others have pointed out, we all need to compete. Maybe not for basic necessities of survival, but certainly in other areas of life. Learning to cope with disappointments and failures is perfectly healthy and normal. Your sort of pop-political psychobabble sounds like nonsense to me.

    • M says:

      02:57pm | 13/08/12

      Ok Colin, you can have your leftie utopia.

    • Sickemrex says:

      03:03pm | 13/08/12

      What a narrow view of competition you have Colin.  Have you ever heard the expression “personal best”?  Some people find it very motivating.  When I do fun runs, my main goal is a PB and my second goal is to be faster than the average time.  When I started ocean swimming after having my child, my main goal was initally not to be last.  Now I just try to get as close as I can to the average time for everyone else.  Maybe one day I will get into the top third in my age.  I will never, ever win an ocean swim but I really enjoy training for it and doing the races, partly because I have someone to compete with, me.

    • Tim says:

      03:14pm | 13/08/12

      Colin,
      actually I compete (and win) because it allows me complete freedom in my life.
      Nothing to do with consumerism and everything to do with being able to control my own life, make my own decisions and live how I want to.

      The only thing a society like you describe would breed is laziness, mediocrity and boredom. If there is no benefit in succeeding, then there is no incentive to work, invent or discover. Unrewarded effort would disenfranchise the truly brilliant.

      “Fact is, if everyone followed the credo of NOT competing the world would be a better, fairer, and happier place.”

      Complete crap,  It’s the recipe for extinction.

    • Ben C says:

      04:43pm | 13/08/12

      “Fact is, if everyone followed the credo of NOT competing the world would be a better, fairer, and happier place.”

      There would be no improvement, no achievement and therefore no advancement in the world if there was no competition.

    • Ally says:

      10:55am | 13/08/12

      Is that $130 per year? I suppose that isn’t too bad, even when adding in stuff like running shoes and other associated expenses. It seems with most of these sports that there are two levels for kids: the fun muck about on the weekend, or the path to professional sport. I imagine it’s the parents that think they’re raising the next Olympian that are shelling out thousands of dollars and hours of time.

      The one I’m going to avoid when I have kids is dancing. There is no way in hell any kid of mine is going to be allowed to have dancing lessons. As a kid, my neighbours all did it and I’ve got a couple of friends now who have kids enrolled in various classes. The expenses seem to be never ending, particularly the costumes. My God, do they go through costumes.

    • L says:

      10:57am | 13/08/12

      My kids both do a range of activities - sporting and musical - due to their interests and our desire to keep them fit and active.  This includes Little Athletics which is badly disorganised and frustrating for the parents but the difference in fitness and skills for those children that do it as opposed to their schoolfriends who don’t is noticeable.  It costs about $250 a year each including rego, shoes and uniform but compared to other activities isn’t too bad.  My son’s soccer alone costs about $2000 a year and music lessons costs thousands of dollars a year.

      Yes, it’s a lot of money and we’re not necessarily trying to turn our kids into champions or elite athletes but if they grow up fit, healthy and with a desire to stay active into adulthood, then it is worth it to us and we’re fortunate to be able to afford it.

    • Denis Quigly says:

      11:17am | 13/08/12

      Are you stupid?  Parents are supposed to organise the Little Athletics in each Club.  Why don’t you get off your backside and do something make some improvements. 

      Empty vessels make the most noise!!!

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      11:35am | 13/08/12

      i would hate to meet Denis Quigly out on the field at a kids footy match. I hope he takes a hanky to clean the spittle off his lips (also handy for wiping blood off knuckles, hey Den?)

    • M says:

      11:53am | 13/08/12

      I would hate to meet a limp wristed concerned citizen anywhere.

    • Semi Concerned Citizen says:

      04:04pm | 13/08/12

      Concerned Citizen is not a relative of mine.

    • Semi Concerned Citizen says:

      04:08pm | 13/08/12

      I would just like to point out that Concerned Citizen is no relative of mine.

      Also i would like to add the injuries cost a lot more than the gear in most serious cases.

    • Definitely Concerned Citizen says:

      05:18pm | 13/08/12

      what is this… a Bogan Convention?

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      11:37am | 13/08/12

      Dancing is the biggest money pit. Stay away from it if you don’t want to spend money!.

    • Coal Train says:

      11:51am | 13/08/12

      My parents paid for all my sporting commitments, and they pushed me everyday to achieve my best, I somehow managed to break every sprinting record at my school and represent my school (and state) over seas in rugby because of the support my parents gave me,  If it wasn’t for injury I could have been in the Brumbies, or running 100m/200m for Australia which ever I managed to qualify for.

      So lesson to the kids is, stay strong and keep your body intact, little ones. Learn from a battered veteran of sports. Every leg injury an aspiring athlete could attain i managed to achieved, killing my career before it began, so rest up if you sprain something don’t battle on, call it quits when your body calls it quits. And a lesson to the parents, never whinge about the costs of sports for your kids it benefits them in every way, and could one day benefit you.

    • glenn says:

      11:54am | 13/08/12

      my kids raced go karts, about $1500 to buy one, and about $30 per wekend to race, including race entry ($15) fuel ($5), lunch etc.cheap compared to every thing ive heard so far, and it creates kids who respect each other, and teaches great skills

    • The Other Dan says:

      12:09pm | 13/08/12

      Loved the Olympics closing ceremony, but the tribute to British music fell a bit short without Mick, Keef, Ronnie and Charlie. British music with the Stones is like toast with Vegemite (and was that son of Keith Moon on the drums with The Who?).

    • Gregg says:

      01:57pm | 13/08/12

      Gold, Silver or Bronze?

      Angus Houston might as well have been watching the Olympics for the past two weeks and likely may well have for the panel has hardly made it to the finals with their recommendations.

      All very waffly and iffy on too many key aspects and placing great reliance on our near northern neighbours!
      If Indonesia wanted to be serious about stopping boats of asylum seekers leaving they would already but they appear to not want to and will not even go to boats in their own territorial waters.

      Just so pathetic.

    • Colin says:

      02:48pm | 13/08/12

      Who flies, anyway? Hurtling through the sky on a glorified public bus, shoulder-to-shoulder with herds of the Great Orshtrayan Unwashed on their cheap flight..? No, thanks.

    • TimB says:

      03:39pm | 13/08/12

      Are you kidding Colin?

      Cooped up in a private car for most of a day to get to Brisbane and spending a small fortune on petrol…

      Or heading up via plane for a similar cost and getting there in a mere hour?

      Air travel kicks ass.

    • M says:

      04:07pm | 13/08/12

      Lemme see, spend 6 hours getting from Brisbane to Gladstone in a car or hop on a 1 hour flight? And I have to do it twice a fortnight?

      Tough descision… I believe I’ll take the plane thanks.

    • J Taylor says:

      02:41pm | 13/08/12

      Wonder how Plain Jane’s doing lately.

      She’s not been on board since her hubby got crook, if I recall.

      Pity. A polite, determined and pretty feisty lass, she read widely and had a good eye for detail and accuracy.  Punch columns were a better read when she was about.

      Are you there, Jane?

    • Caedrel says:

      03:24pm | 13/08/12

      My two boys have been playing soccer for the last few years - about $180 in fees, which covers rego and playing kit, plus some odds & ends like bags, water bottle and jersey. We have to pay separately for their soccer boots and shin guards, so about another $100 there. My younger sons’ coach bought his kids their training strip out of his own pocket - he’s a pretty serious coach and likes them turning up with a consistent look. My older son joined a development programme run by his club - cost $1300, training kit included, qualified coach, training two nights a week that included skills drills from a (separate) academy coach. The association is running a similar programme that cost $1800, I think. It’s part of FFA’s drive to change the way Aussies have traditionally played soccer from the physical, direct, long ball style of game to the short passing Barcelona-esque style. Sometimes it seems like every other person is running their own private academy, but like always, it comes down to the quality of the individual coaches.

 

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