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….