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Hockey more expensive than horse sport, study finds

canada-sports-cost-youthA 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.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Becca Howard says:

    I feel like considering I spend more than $1,400 on my horse in ONE MONTH…the equestrian statistic isn’t true…nice try though!

    • amera says:

      We spend atleast $1500 at one horse show 2-3x a month. This study is WAY off as no one in the equestrian world does one show a year as they wouldn’t qualify for year-end points. I can’t believe they published this nonsense.My family tries to argue the same thing…hockey is so expensive, 2-4K per kid per year. Oh brother! We spent 35K just in horse care and feed last year, not including the minimum 4K per month in show related fees. Even when our kid was a beginner and only doing schooling shows we still spent $150 per show 2x a month. Article is just a glaring example of poor research. I’m sharing just so all our friends can get a good laugh.

      • Tamera says:

        To add…the real underlying issue is why equestrian sports are not that popular – because they are not affordable. Almost every kid I know would love to learn to ride but to be able to afford to buy or lease a horse and compete is beyond reach for most. Hockey is not the most expensive sport (dance for us was the 2nd highest bill along with gymnastics) but it is still too much money for many, atleast not if you want to pay your bills. Thus to say what sports kids like the most…comes down to what the family can afford. For many that means only sports the school system support, ones that can be done for free (if you don’t compete) like skateboarding or none at all. Here in the U.S. it is often none at all.

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