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Beau wants a shot at netball, but is not allowed to play

AIMING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Westwood youngster Beau Scott aims for his goal of becoming a student netball player.
AIMING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Westwood youngster Beau Scott aims for his goal of becoming a student netball player. Austin King

YOUNG Beau Scott is trying his best to get through some tight hoops to reach his goal... of playing netball.

The problem is, there are rules that stop him from playing - "if there are too many girls on the team".

Beau, 11, is a St Peter's Catholic Primary School student from Westwood.

For more than a year he had been playing rugby league.

But after watching his mum Nichole carving up the netball court for the Gracemere Tigers, he decided he wanted to try it too.

Earlier this month, teachers gave Beau a form for him and his parents to fill out. The form asked students to choose a sport to play after school on Fridays.

Nichole said there weren't many options: only rugby league, netball - and tennis "if you could play".

There was also an option for other coaching clinics.

Without skipping a beat, Beau chose netball.

When he returned the form, he was advised he couldn't play, mum Nichole claimed.

"In this day and age, it's absolutely unacceptable to see this form of discrimination in sports," she said. "I believe no matter what gender you are, you should be allowed to be involved with any sport; female/male dominated or not."

Beau said he still wanted to play netball, if the school would let him.

In a statement, Rockhampton District Primary Schools interschool sports committee chairman Geoff Hadwen said Beau was welcome to play netball as long as he "did not displace any girls who wanted to play".

He said in mixed softball, boys were not allowed to play in dominant positions including pitcher, catcher and first base. However, girls were allowed to play primary school rugby league up until the age of 12.

"There is a desire out there for girls and boys to be involved in all sports, but boys tend to be more athletic and stronger at times," he said.

St Peter's principal Anthony Greene said he was more than happy to discuss sporting activities that any student and their parents would like to explore.

Bulletin Facebook users respond to Beau's crusade to take up netball at school

FOLLOWING Nichole Scott's move to speak out about her son's wish to play netball, we asked our Facebook followers their thoughts on males playing a female-dominated sport, and vice-versa.

Here is what they said:

Samantha Jane Evans: If there are enough boys to make a male team go for it. Unless every school puts in a mixed team the competition will be very limited.

Roslyn Svensen: Sooner than later there will be no difference in genders. Sad I think.

Sara Kelly: I was the first girl to play rugby league in town for school and now girls play football all the time. So I think if he wants to play let him play as long as he knows that is it is a non-contact sport.

Jennifer Sichter: It depends on how big the boy is. Could be an issue with others getting hurt.

Kylie North: My daughter played rugby league for her school. Not all the teams they versed had girls in them. It's about children participating not what gender they are.

Jo Stoyel: Girls play football, what's the difference.

Topics:  netball, rockhampton, sport



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