Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Youth Sports: Too Costly?

During my interview with Mark Hyman, professional journalist and blogger (Youth Sport Parents), I was asked, Is the cost of youth sports a problem? 

As I stated in the post Youth Sport Fanatics Nature or Nurture, we are a sports crazy family. As such, we prioritize spending on youth sports over other expenditures. Some families have vacation homes and boats. Some families go on extravagant vacations. We do not because of the time and money we invest in youth sports. Of course some families can't afford youth sports let alone vacation homes and boats and vacations. So the question remains Is the cost of youth sports a problem? 

I struggled with this question. I think that sports should be available to all kids of all socio- economic levels and it is for those who look. The bottom-line is that it costs money to run a league or a sports facility. The field / court / ice fees, referee / umpire fees, uniforms, insurance costs, etc, all add up. Luckily there are numerous fundraising options and great programs supported by philanthropic organizations. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America's has programs supported by Major League Baseball like Wanna Play, Jr. RBI, RBI. The Cincinnati Reds have the Reds Community fund that improve lives through the tradition of the Reds and baseball. I am sure most MLB teams have similar organizations. YMCA offers youth sports programs for athletes of households of all incomes.

There are also great sports equipment and uniform donation programs like Pitchinforbaseball and US Soccer Federation's Passback to help communities in need. Finally, many town and school leagues offer financial assistance for players in need.

Lots of coaches will reach into their own pockets to help a family in need. When I was coaching my older son's select soccer team, I recruited a talented kid who I had coached in rec ball. His mom was flattered but declined because they did not have the money. I sent a note to the other parents and asked if they would mind if we added a kid to the roster at a cost that matched recreational soccer. All agreed without exception. I paid for his uniform. My actions are played out in lots of communities every season.

The Main Point

Sports cost money to run, but through volunteerism, fundraising and reaching out to established organizations that provide help or equipment the costs do not have to be a deterrent to participation.  

1 comment:

  1. C.C. was terrific and so was the team winning the 4th grade tourney and losing in the Championship game to a huge 5th grade team.

    Pop Pop and Nan really enjoyed the basketball and the turkey on a great Thanksgiving wkend with the family!!!

    ReplyDelete

Followers

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails