Written back in 2009 when I had very active kids playing competitive sports!
I’ve written about this before, but I figured I’d rehash this topic, because the high cost of active kids are not dropping in any way shape or form.
For the 2008 basketball season my estimate was that the total cost of one of my daughters playing for a competitive team with travel, registration and team fees cost was about $1500 or so (that may be a little high).
Friends that have children that play competitive hockey are outlaying upwards of $5-10,000 a year in total costs, and higher in some situations. Figure Skating is a surprisingly very expensive sport for kids (costume costs, competition costs and coaching costs are enormous), as well. Other sports like Soccer, Football, Baseball and Volleyball I am sure cannot be that cheap either (I don’t have exact figures for those sports so I won’t comment, if anyone has any, please feel free to add them to the comments here).
Even with the high cost of active kids their physical exertion is helping society to a certain extent by:
- Instilling a sense of team and community pride.
- Keeping our kids occupied (and thus not out spray painting our neighbours fences (hopefully))
- Showing the value of physical fitness
Yes, it does sound like I am blowing my own horn, so I’ll stop there, but I think organized sports or activities is a good thing for kids. You should donate to your Boys & Girls Clubs because they are helping underprivileged kids stay active (and hopefully out of trouble).
What do people do who can’t afford this stuff? I know Canadian Tire runs a program to help out and locally in Ottawa there are a few community groups that are trying to help as well, but I am sure that is just not enough.
If you want to help out in your community and you have the extra money, maybe find a family that needs this kind of help, and offer to sponsor a kid for a year, your investment might pay back huge dividends in the long run.
Why the High Cost of Active Kids ?
Most sports fees are so expensive for many reaons, but some I know of are:
- Very high insurance premiums since NO organized sport dare not have liability coverage.
- Maintenance of fields, parks, gyms and rental of these facilities.
- Fees to officials (not a very large cost, but still a cost).
- Profit (yes some hockey leagues are run as FOR profit institutions).
When did Recreation become a big business?