A study of Canadian families with children aged from three to 17 found that equestrian is the second most expensive sport for young people.
The Canadian Youth Sports Report, which was released this week, said 84% of Canadian youth in the 3-17 age range participate in sports of some kind and 60% do it on an organized basis.
Participation costs were reported averages for selected sports to illustrate the range of choice and costs available.
Hockey, at $C1666 a year, ranked as the most expensive, ahead of equestrian sport on$C1434, and basketball was third at $C1115. Of the top eight, softball was the least expensive, at $C295.
Participation costs included expenditure on equipment and sport-specific gear, fees for leagues teams or lessons as well as direct travel/transportation costs. At the more competitive, organized levels of many youth sports, with travelling teams and tournaments, indicated that travel and hotel costs were “significant” in open-ended comments.
The report is the most comprehensive study undertaken on the challenges and opportunities facing Canadian kids and their families when it comes to the sports they play. This landmark study by Toronto’s Solutions Research Group looked at 44 sports and physical activities that Canadian kids love, based on interviews with 2,371 families. Youth sports represent a $5.7 billion market with families spending nearly $1000 annually per child on sports.
The top organised sports for youth were swimming and soccer, with more than 1.1 million Canadian youth (19% of all 3-17 year olds) currently in swimming lessons, instruction or competition.
Equestrian did not make the top 10 of organised sports, and it also did not make the top 10 of sports perceived as most likely to result in injuries. The riskiest, according to parents, is skateboarding, followed by rugby, wrestling, alpine skiing and football.