I shudder to think (and that’s not just from the cold in the rink) what I have actually spent over the years to fund my children’s illustrious hockey careers (notice the tongue firmly in cheek). Between equipment, ice time and tourneys, participating in such a sport is admittedly out of reach for many people.
The money aside, there are tremendous life lessons to be derived from participating in organized sport- including fair play, discipline, success equals effort, supporting other people and accountability to your teammates (if you’re participating in a team sport).
Even if you feel that organized sports might be out of reach, there are ways to afford it.
Pick your Sport
Sports like hockey, soccer, gymnastics, football and figure skating for instance, are quite expensive because of the costs associated with booking fields, gyms or ice time.
Pick a sport that is less costly- but still team-oriented or goal oriented- like ball hockey or running, which offer much of the same physical and social benefits at a far lower cost.
Have Your Child Contribute
Does your youngster have his heart set on being the next big thing in the NHL? Propose that your child help by raising money to offset some of the costs.
This can be through odd jobs, birthday money, paper routes etc.
This not only may get them passage to participate, but will teach them the value of a dollar in the process.
Local businesses often sponsor teams in return for advertising, but did you know that sometimes they will sponsor individual athletes?
It’s worth doing a little local canvassing to see if this is a possibility.
Approach the Association
Many associations have programs to help get families in need into organized sport. This can include full or partial sponsorship for fees, special payment programs and discounts for families with multiple children looking to participate. Again, this is worth investigating.
There are national and local organizations that are dedicated to getting children in to sport. Organizations like Canadian Tire’s JumpStart Program may have the help you need to get involved.