Posts Tagged ‘expenses’

Playing For Keeps…the cost of youth sports participation.

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

 Sondra, a mother of four, is in quite a pickle. She wants her two oldest children to play baseball, but is faced with the tough decision of paying $125 that she really doesn’t have, or, have them miss out on the educational and social benefits offered by sports. With no financial assistance available, it appears that Sondra’s children will have to miss out on participating in baseball due to the heavy financial burden of participation fees.

This situation is not unique to just Sondra, more and more parents are having to make similar decisions all across America.

From the article Participation in youth sports on the decline:

“We’re seeing parents having more of a struggle,” said Josh Pruce, media director for Pop Warner Football, Langhorne, Pa. “Parents may pay for one or two sports, but not three or four sports.” As more families struggle to make ends meet, they may see the registration fees and equipment costs as expendable.”

This article can be accessed at http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110522/NEWS/105220327

If more parents are having a tough time paying for youth sports, any increase in price would more than likely result in them withdrawing their children from sports.

The high cost associated with youth sports participation is already limiting access for many families, so if the costs were to continue to increase and further limit or lower participation, would it be ethical to put to use the saying “sports are a privilege, not a right” to justify the increased fees and lower participation rates? Wouldn’t this only further emphasize the statement “only the privileged are privileged”, which is unethical as well?

Some type of alternative has to be available. There has to be some way to make sports cheaper to participate in. Surely there is a way to make scholarships available to low income families.

Fundraising opportunities, as well sponsorships deals with local businesses would surely alleviate a portion of the participation fees. I believe actions like these, as well as exploring other options could make sport more accessable and affordable to all children and their families.

The current trend must change, as I feel that all children should have access to sports, regardless of their family’s financial situation. Sport fosters social growth, as well as promote physical activity, commitment, and accountability, all of which are vital to a child’s success later in life. Youth sports participation should not be limited or controlled by the amount of money families possess. Everyone should have equal access.

 

More Exercise or More $$$$?

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

The situation for Sondra paying US$125 for her two children to play in a youth baseball league is financially troublesome for her.  Once she realized this was not fitting her budget she spoke with the director of the recreation center.  He told her that because of the current budget cuts they were unable to assist her with the fees and that playing sports was a privilege, not a right.  Without the financial help from the recreation center it seems as though Sondra’s children will be unable to participate in the youth baseball league.  Does it seem ethically right to offer youth sports to people who are financially capable or should the people with issues be provided with help? Simple, it should be attacked like college by offering the financial aid approach for people with those needs.

Unfortunately, the tough place that Sondra is put in financially is an issue that pertains to many families.

From the article Youth sports costing more time and money:

It is a reality that many parents are facing when it comes to their children playing sports. Want your child to get a college scholarship? Be prepared to ante up. Even if your child does excel at the game, there are only so many scholarships to go around. Playing competitive sports isn’t cheap. And there isn’t really any end in sight.

With entering two children into the recreation program, Sondra receives a US$25 discount.  Although this helps her out slightly, she is still having issues meeting the financial demands to enter her children into the program.

Since youth sport has become an issue for the budget of some families, some youth programs have applications families can fill out to find the financial assistance in paying for these sports. For example financial aid for Youth Sports YMCA is now provided. The YMCA site says:

Thanks to the United Way of the Midlands and the YMCA’s “Strong Kids Campaign,” financial assistance is available for those in need within our available resources.

This can be found at http://youth-sports.metroymca.org/membership/financial-aid/

By providing families with the option to apply for financial aid, it allows for them to be more capable of paying for their children to participate in youth sports.  If this can be done in more areas, then more children will be able to stay active in sports that they like to engage and participate in.

One.Hundred.Billion.Dollars…to play sports?

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Sondra must pay at least 125 dollars for her two older children to be able to play baseball at their local recreational center. Although she isn’t in the best financial situation the recreational center will not give her any sort of assistance and it does not seem that her children will end up being able to play. Why should they not be able to play simply because they can not pay the fees? Is it ethically right to deprive children of the opportunity to play sport because their parents can’t afford it? I believe it’s not.

Youth sport has become a very expensive “opportunity” and is causing many people being put in a situation to choose one way or another.

http://www.cqnews.com.au/news/players-walk-over-fees-fee-rebate-incentive-to-vol/1290796/ 

This article shows examples of what people say about youth sport becoming too expensive such as:

“We had some people pull out of our team because they were already playing touch, which has got high fees as well, and they couldn’t justify paying both sets of fees.”

Although Sondra was offered some help because she had multiple children entering the program she was still unable to afford the fees and I believe that is not right, there are other options.

There are some recreational programs that now offer assistance such as scholarships for those who qualify. Fairfax County offers assistance for low income families who do not already receive help for sports.

The Fairfax County Department of Community and Recreation Services (CRS) provides registration fee scholarships and equipment voucher to help eligible youth participate in sports programs in Fairfax County. This scholarship program provides assistance to youths from low income families who are not currently being served by existing scholarship or fee waiver programs.

You can find this article and example of an application at:

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/rec/team_sports/pdf/ysspform.pdf 

Children should all be given equal opportunity to play sports as it has many benefits such as leadership, teamwork, and commitment. No families should be turned away because of their financial situation.