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Children could be barred from joining sports and hobby clubs because of the increasing burden of red tape, campaigners fear. Organisations which run activities for youngsters are already struggling to recruit volunteers because they must undergo criminal records checks. But when a new child protection database is introduced next year - which one in four adults will have to sign at a cost of Pfund64 each - it is feared that many groups which admit members of all ages will decide it is cheaper and simpler to exclude children. Campaigners say this will leave teenagers unable to take part in activities which are good for their development, and makes a mockery of Government attempts to crack down on youth obesity and anti-social behaviour. Josie Appleton, organiser of the Campaign against Vetting, said: "People think it's too much trouble to go through all these hoops just to turn up to a football match. "There's also a growing sense of people asking why should they do all this. It turns something natural and normal into having to ask the state's permission, so it's not voluntary any more. "Some clubs have closed their doors to children, and that's a real shame. I think it's very important that children have these places for their development. "There's the civilising effect of being with adults, and having a wholesome activity rather than just kicking their heels." As The Daily Telegraph reported this week, almost 50,000 girls are on waiting lists to join the girl guides because there are not enough adults with Criminal Records Bureau clearance to supervise them.