Working with kids in sport? These new rules apply to you

ALL sport, not only bowls, needs to be aware that new requirements to government regulations regarding working with children came into effect on April 1.

For volunteers the official check is free, but for people who are being paid or are on an honorarium, it costs $80.

The Child Protection Act passed by the NSW Parliament in 2012 provided for a new Working With Children Check (WWCC) to be phased in over the following five years. The first of last month was the date given to start on the new check which Bowls NSW says is more comprehensive and provides better protection for children.

Bowls NSW advises clubs, districts and zones to appoint a person to be responsible.

The one appointed should be aware of what is required by accessing the website or attending a sport-specific seminar.

The information available from these sources specifies individual, employer and club administration responsibilities, how to prepare for the check, risk management, codes of conduct, children's participation, complaints and allegations.

"While we realise the WWCC is an inconvenience for many people, it is better to be safe than sorry," Bowls NSW says.

Comment: Watchdogs needed to protect kids

IT'S a sign of the times that governments have to legislate to protect children.

While the majority of adults are beyond reproach in this regard, there are some who would prey on susceptible youngsters.

It's a wise move under the Child Protection Act to have each sporting organisation appoint a watchdog to see the children are kept safe from predators.

Everyone, not only the one given this responsibility, should be aware of what can be regarded as an offence against children.

It's a fine line in which the innocent can be caught up in the web of suspicion.

Prominence given to child protection in these scary days has made decent people reluctant to lay a hand on a child - even grandparents think twice about cuddling their grandchildren.

With junior bowlers, male and female, becoming an integral part of the game of bowls we all have to be careful.

Even taking photographs of junior players can be construed as an offence.

Protect the children at all cost but it's a sad situation that the human race is becoming less affectionate towards the young because of a fear of being labelled as one who would take advantage of them.

Bowls NSW's shrill excuses for fee hikes

I'VE LOST count of the number of times Bowls NSW has told us how much it does for us. Coincidentally, it usually comes when the state body is slugging every affiliated bowler with a jump in capitation fees.

This time the adverse reaction to a near 30% increase has been so widespread that the current explanation is more desperate - it runs to two full pages in the official, compulsory-buy magazine.

Read it and there is nothing in the state's we-do-this list that couldn't be done at district or zone level. And without $60 being grabbed from every bowler's club membership fee to pay for it.

What I hear around the ditches is that bowlers would be prepared to pay the increased fees if the money was going to benefit clubs, many of which are struggling to stay afloat. It isn't. The clubs are being left with a pittance.

If this increase is, as the magazine article says, an investment in bowls, the sport won't need an investment if clubs are no longer around.

TWEED-BYRON DISTRICT TRIPLES FINAL: Bowlers, from left, Glenys Johnston, Lynette McGowran and Barbara Sprengel (Ocean Shores) defeated Jenny Lofts, Kerry Dexter and Sherril Pearce (Brunswick Heads).
TWEED-BYRON DISTRICT TRIPLES FINAL: Bowlers, from left, Glenys Johnston, Lynette McGowran and Barbara Sprengel (Ocean Shores) defeated Jenny Lofts, Kerry Dexter and Sherril Pearce (Brunswick Heads).

A first at Ballina

A STATE mixed pairs championship, the first of its kind, is to be run by Women's Bowls NSW.

Ballina Cherry Street has indicated interest in hosting the inaugural event.

Each district/region will have a host club to conduct the qualifying rounds. If more than one district in a zone has nominated to be host, the district winners will play off to get a zone winner.

If Ballina is the only local club to nominate to be host, its winner will proceed to playoffs at Tuncurry Beach on October 31 to November 1.

Teams will be designated as having come from the region of their female member.

Pennants finish

THE NRDBA pennant season finally wound up on Saturday when the washed-out rounds in three grades were played.

Alstonville met East Lismore in the No 1s, with the result having no bearing on the overall positions. Alstonville won by eight shots but remains in fifth place on the final points table, three points ahead of tailender Evans Head.

Despite the loss, East finished in third spot. Evans Head now faces relegation.

In the No 5s, Broadwater beat Alstonville by nine shots to nudge Ballina out of runner-up. Ballina and Broadwater finished the season tied on points but Broadwater had a plus 12 better margin.

Overall positions didn't change in the No 7s in which Bonalbo beat Casino RSM by seven shots. Bonalbo is the grade's runner-up, while the Casino side finished fifth.

Tough draw

THE draw for the state senior interzone finals at Harbord next week has made it no easy road for the Zone One side.

It is up against Sydney South in the opener, Sydney Northern in round two and Newcastle in the third round.

Hard slog

ACCORDING to Bowls Australia, the national bowls squad and its coaching staff ran-swam-cycled 936.6km in training in April.

It says some of them incorporated boot camp-style activities, core strength training in gyms and boxing, on top of the 936.6km.

What next? Scrums, trainers running on with water bottles, sin bins?

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