Posts Tagged ‘Participation in youth sports on the decline’

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.