Physical activity is important as it helps to maintain a healthy body.
However, many children find themselves unable or unwilling to participate in sports.
There are many advantages gained from participating in sports, these include:
Physical activity helps to improve and develop cognitive functions.
This, in turn, can improve a person’s academic ability through increased concentration, behavior, and attention.
Exercise is one of the least expensive ways to keep healthy, and studies have found that exercise can help reduce the risks of or prevent many diseases and long terms conditions including some cancers.
Studies have shown that participating in physical activity regularly can improve a person’s mental health.
When compared to students who did little to no regular exercise, it found those that did do regular exercise were less prone to depressive moods and suicidal intentions.
Regular exercise has been associated with positively affecting self-esteem, leadership, and goal settings.
It is those children who partake in sports that achieve skills to help progress:
- Future education and career
- Commitment and obedience
- Mental and physical health
- Social life and getting on with others
The barriers preventing sport participation
Unfortunately, some people find obstacles that prevent them or their children from participating in sports, some of these include:
- Lack of opportunity or willingness for physical casual play
- Lack of recreational spaces
- Lack of adequately trained coaches
- Increase in technology
However, a major barrier faced by many families is the cost of participating in physical activity.
Many parents find that they sacrifice their personal savings so that they can ensure they have enough money for their children’s physical activity.
A survey found many factors delay a child’s participation in a sport such as a gender, ethnicity, marital status of parents, and how often the child exercises.
However, the survey found that the larger a household’s income, the earlier a child would participate in sports.
The financial impact of sport
An increasing number of children are participating in sports all year through clubs, but this change in trend mean that prices have increased for parents.
Parents are now paying for travel, uniforms, equipment, and various fees including registration and coach.
Youth sports are a huge industry that estimated to bring in $5 billion.
Parents have stated that they are paying $3,000 to $5,000 per year.
Children are also starting sports at a much earlier age, which means parents can face paying for their children’s sporting activities for up to 13 years by the time they graduate high school.
How to save money
The increase in costs means that parents have to look for ways that they can save money wherever they can as the alternative would mean their child no longer being able to participate, and many parents feel that investing in their children’s physical activities is money well spent.
There are a few ways that you can save money to ensure your child can still play their chosen sport and save for your future.
You can buy used sports equipment instead of buying new.
You could potentially volunteer at your child’s sports league or club.
Alternatively, you can also buy non-sport related items in bulk.
Buy used sports equipment
Sporting equipment can be very expensive, and you may find that a significant portion of your monthly spending is going towards buying new equipment.
You can buy and sell used sporting equipment either via sport consignment stores or online via eBay or Facebook.
Volunteer for your child’s sport league or club
There is the potential that if you volunteer for your child’s league or club that you could negotiate a reduction in fees.
There are several possible roles available including coaching.
Bulk buy non-sport related items
There are several things which you could bulk buy from wholesale discount warehouses such as snack and bottled water.
You could also speak to other parents and see if you could pool together and spread the cost of bulk purchases amongst yourselves.
There are many benefits to participating in sports beyond health, including educational and psychological.
Physical activity not only affects a personal physically, but also mentally.
There are also several other benefits such as your academic and social abilities.
There are however just as many barriers preventing families from participating in sport; these include lack of recreational space, casual play, and coaches as well as injuries and the rise of technology.
The financial cost of participating in sports is preventing parents from saving for their future, as well as equipment and uniforms parents are paying a lot of fees.
There are, however, ways in which you can cut costs to ensure that you can afford the growing cost of fees and save to safeguard your future.