Now parents of footy-playing kids have to pay for a media pass if they want to take pics of their children playing sport.

As reported in the Daily Telegraph, parents of Junior Rugby League players in Canterbury-Bankstown, NSW now need to purchase an $80 media pass, which gives them permission to take photos of their own kids playing on the field.

However, this rule has nothing to do with the government. In fact, the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian called the move “unnecessary” while others are called it “extreme”.

Protection Of Children

Private sporting venues are permitted to make their own rules about photography. And a spokesperson for the NSW Junior Rugby League has justified their decision as part of the media pass application is to do a Working With Children check (WWC). However, only people who directly interacted with kids needed to complete the background check, while spectators were exempt.

“I Love It!”

Many parents have actually embraced this new rule, as it protects their children.

“I love it – anything that is helping to protect our children…I’m all for it,” says Chester Hill Hornets mum-of-three Susie Lababidi.

“It Is Extreme”

However, Western Sydney University children’s safety researcher Dr Joanne Orlando expresses her concerns:

“It is extreme – but parents worry about this kind of thing. It opens up a bit of a can of worms in terms of the club processes,” she said.

“Who do you count as volunteers? Who is going to police who has a media pass? Is it a volunteer? What if it is a grandma and she only comes once a year and wants to take a photo on that day?”

Parents are encouraged to dob in those taking photographs without the license.

The Rule Is Flexible

For some clubs, like the Moorebank Rams, it is up to the grounds managers to enforce the media pass requirement.

“The use of a Media Pass is still at the discretion of ground managers, depending on which ground you are playing at,” it said in its guidelines.

The guidelines set out the steps to getting a media pass, including getting a WWC check, registering as a volunteer, and providing registrars details of which team you want to photograph.

There seems to be quite a lot of grey in the matter still….

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  • I think its a bit over the top.


  • If you have to pay to take a photo of your child playing sport then the club should have to pay your child for playing. It’s ridiculous.


  • Really? I’d love to see how this is enforced. Volunteers (and there are only a few of them that have so many roles on match day) have enough to do without enforcing this rule. I should be able to take a photo of my child playing sport if I want to. Who gets to say that I don’t and what legal recourse is there? Really? I think this is just over-zealousness and trying to please the minority – AGAIN.


  • It is just not right I’m my opinion!


  • It’s a money grab, nothing else! Good grief.


  • I am president of a junior football club and I can not imagine the work involved in policing something like this. It sounds a little like a money making exercise to me as with sport its so hard to get a photo of an individual


  • So did the other child lock her in there and then press the button? I don’t understand how it actually turned on?


  • Why does it need to be a fee? Yes it probably goes to the club and all but still this is a little silly. It should be all included in the club membership.


  • The problem is the people who do the wrong thing aren’t the ones people suspect so all that happens is they pay $80 and parents who don’t have a lot of money can’t take photos of their kids.


  • You need to pay 80 dollars every time your child plays a game and you want to take a picture??? It sounds so strange to me.


  • Who decides who gets a pass? Do they have to sign saying they will not distribute photos aournd on social media? WHy $80? It seems a lot to pay if you just want a photo of your child playing their favourite sport. It should be free passes to parents and no one else allowed a pass, as why would you want photos of other children anyway.


  • This is silly. Far more important to make kids aware that public activities may b photographed by anyone.


  • Blatant cash grab. Doesn’t the club make enough as it is? I can understand trying to protect children but not sure how this is meant to do so.


  • There seem to be so many unknowns such as how will it be enforced? How does this pass guarantee that only pics are taken of the parents children on the sports field? Seem to be so many unknowns at play. I completely understand checks for the safety of children but this media pass seems to need a lot of answers. What is the breakdown of the $80 – what does it cover.

    • There does indeed seem to be a lot of grey!


  • it’s a sad world we live in! But I don’t see how this is going to stop any sort of predator? Couldn’t they just pretend to be a parent and get a pass? Just sounds like a cash grab to me.


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