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The cost of raising a child athlete

Sure, sport provides a child with physical exercise and the experience of being part of a team, but at what cost? According to data from the Office of National Statistics and a survey by Chef and Brewer, that cost can be considerable.

Cost of having a child in sport

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The Cost of Raising a Child Athlete

Sure, sport provides a child with physical exercise and the experience of being a part of a team, but at what cost? According to data from the Office of National Statistics and a survey by Chef & Brewer, that cost can be considerable.

 

YOUTH SPORT IN CHILDREN’S LIVES

Children Playing Competitive

Sport is an important part of children’s growth and development. As of 2011, 80 per cent of children ages 5-15 played a competitive sport in the previous 12 months.

75% took part in a competitive sport at school.
41% took part in a competitive sport outside of school.


Most Popular Youth Sports

Football and swimming top the list of the most popular youth sports. But a few others that make the list might surprise you.

Most Common Sports for Children and Teens
1.    Football
2.    Swimming
3.    Martial arts
4.    Rugby
5.    Ballet/dance
6.    Tennis
7.    Athletics
8.    Gymnastics
9.    Netball
10.  Cricket

 

THE HIGH COST OF RAISING AN ATHLETE

Priciest Participation

While football is the most popular sport, it’s also one of the least expensive. However, over the course of a child’s teen years, the costs add up substantially.

Most Expensive Sports to Participate In

 

Cost for 1 Year

Cost for 8 Years
(Age 11-18)

Golf

£6,928

£55,420

Go Karting

£5,073

£40,580

Tennis

£4,601

£36,805

Swimming

£4,279

£34,232

Netball

£4,056

£32,447

Rugby

£3,679

£29,429

Horse Riding

£3,381

£27,047

Gymnastics

£2,687

£21,493

Football

£2,598

£20,787

Ballet

£2,363

£18,907

*Based on children ages 11-18 who play a sport at least 3 times per week with organised clubs.


More Than Just Club Fees

The club fees aren’t the only costs associated with having a child participate in sport. In many cases, the other costs are more significant.

Costs Associated with Children’s Sport

  1. Club participation fees
  2. New kits
  3. Equipment
  4. Transportation to meetings and competitions

Supporting Young Athletes

Beyond the cost of membership and equipment, parents are also responsible for making sure their young athletes attend the various sport events—a toll that adds up quickly.

£50 = Typical weekly cost of taking kids to clubs, competitions, and training.

+75 miles = Distance one in 10 parents typically drives to regional or county matches.

 

A PARENT’S DEBACLE

 

The Ideal versus the Reality

Many parents wouldn’t want to prevent their child from doing what pleases him or her, but sometimes they have to be realistic about what’s involved.

>> 6 in 10 parents said they wouldn’t want to stop their child from excelling at a sport regardless of cost.
BUT
>> 27 per cent of parents say it’s impossible for their children to be at every meeting and competition due to either money or logistics.


Choosing Sport Over the Alternative

Despite the sky-high cost and time commitment, parents admit they’d prefer their children play sport than stay indoors all day.

>> 41 per cent of parents say they occasionally feel like their lives revolve around their children’s hobbies.
BUT
>> ¾ of parents say they’d rather their children participated in sport than spend that time watching TV.

 

SOURCES: OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS, CHEF & BREWER, BABYLONDON.CO.UK

 


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