KidSport vouchers to make swimming lessons more affordable

15 December 2020

Western Australian families will now have the opportunity to use their KidSport vouchers towards swimming lessons as a part of the McGowan Government’s hugely popular KidSport program. The KidSport program began in 2011 and has so far seen more than $31 million provided to assist kids from low-income families across the state to play sport, through the provision of 192,000 vouchers, but until now swimming lessons have not been included as part of the program.

From 1 January 2021, current KidSport vouchers will be able to be used at approved swim schools, including those endorsed by recognised State Sporting Associations such as Royal Life Saving WA. Royal Life Saving has 140 Endorsed Swim Schools throughout WA that meet best practice for swimming lessons and will be automatically eligible for the KidSport program.

Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray says the change was made in consultation with Royal Life Saving as part of the Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "The impact of COVID-19 on the community has meant that many kids and families may have missed out on in-school swimming lessons this year – and KidSwim will ensure they are able to rebuild swimming skills as quickly as possible. Royal Life Saving WA has been advocating for these changes as part of their efforts to prevent drowning in our communities – and I am pleased the McGowan Government has been able to deliver this life-saving initiative.”

Royal Life Saving WA CEO Peter Leaversuch has welcomed the change, saying it's a vitally important step forward in ensuring no child in WA misses out on learning to swim. "Royal Life Saving has been concerned that more and more families were finding it difficult to afford lessons and Minister Mick Murray is to be congratulated for acting to close this gap. It will save lives and develop lifelong skills. Teaching children to swim and survive is the single most important investment families can make to reduce drowning – and with the start of summer, Royal Life Saving is encouraging all children to enrol in a swimming and water safety program.”

The KidSport program provides eligible children with grants of up to $150 per year to help pay club fees, easing the burden on many families who have struggled in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. The new swim school club category will be available for eligible families to utilise in 2021.

With the end of 2020 drawing near, eligible families are also encouraged to make sure they make the most of the annual KidSport vouchers and join a sporting club if they have not done so already.

KidSport is administered by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, and applications are open all year round. Details on how to apply for KidSport can be found at the link below.

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