Politicians believe it is worrying that it has become too expensive for many children and young people to participate in sports.
Costs of licenses in children’s and youth sports have been up for debate recently. Sports Agency Councilor in Oslo, Omar Samy Gamal has strongly opposed the handball association. He believes the licenses are too expensive and excludes low-income families.
Grunde Almeland, head of the culture committee in the Storting, believes that the threshold must be low for children and young people to be able to participate in sports.
– Sport itself has a responsibility to be inclusive, the Liberal politician writes to Aftenposten.
He believes the unions must put the license at a level that includes as many as possible.
– For handball, it is also a pity if the costs mean that children who could experience joy and mastery through handball, are in reality excluded.
Can not afford, no matter the cost
The costs of the handball association’s licensing scheme are mainly what this noise is about. But in addition, sports agency council Gamal claims that the license money finances the national teams, and that the association conducts explanations.
From the age of 13, parents must pay a license to the handball association. The license is between 1100 kroner to about 2600 kroner a year. Included in the license, you will find insurance from Gjensidige, which will cover damages.
– For some families, the fact that there is a cost in the whole, will be an obstacle to being able to participate. But such high costs as what we see here are extra challenging, writes Almeland.
Every year, state money is spent on supporting Norwegian sports, he explains. Then there should also be an expectation that the sport contributes to as wide a participation as possible.
– It is important that the sport takes responsibility
Almeland thinks it is sad that the proposal from the previous government for a leisure card scheme was shelved. The plan was to give children and young people a few thousand kroner to spend on a self-chosen leisure activity.
– I think it is very sad that SV, Ap and Sp have stepped in to remove the Liberal Party and the previous government’s Leisure Card. It would give children and young people the opportunity to participate in a regular activity they want to do – no matter where they live, or how thick their parents’ wallets are.
When the leisure card no longer becomes something, it is extra important that the sport takes its own responsibility, he writes.
– At the same time, the politicians who are now in power must come up with good alternatives for the children who today are not allowed to participate in sports or cultural life, Almeland concludes.
Labor politician and state secretary to Minister of Culture Anette Trettebergstuen, Gry Haugsbakken, does not want to go into the actual debate between Gamal and the handball association, but writes the following in an e-mail to Aftenposten:
– It is worrying that participation in handball and other sports has become too expensive for many. Sport is perhaps the most important arena for children and young people we have, and it should be accessible to everyone. Here, sport itself has a great responsibility, but this is also something we are concerned about and will follow up.