There are two truths, universally acknowledged and accepted:

  • It is excellent for children to be physically active, and
  • Sports equipment is expensive.

These truths, when taken in conjunction can be depressing at best for parents. The fact of them can also sneak up on you. The first time you buy a set of hockey gear for junior, it may not seem too bad. But when one season ends and the new begins and nothing fits the situation starts to become clear. This is going to cost you.


It’s not something you can forgo, usually, and it adds up quick. Pads, skates, helmets, various sticks or balls, and heaven help you if they need a pair of skates every year… Sports equipment is not cheap, and even second hand it can become an uncomfortable annual amount, particularly if you have more than one child.


If your little one is playing on a team of some kind, whether with their school or a community organization, uniforms can cost anywhere from a few dollars into the hundreds. The sports which tend to be the worst for this are hockey and gymnastics, but any team sport can have a pricey pair of shorts and t-shirt.

Often there are low or no-cost alternatives, except in the issue of shoes, which have to be sport-appropriate, in decent condition and well-fitting


If you’re kid is in a sports team that competes on any level that isn’t taken care of by the school system you’re going to be driving to and from meets and tournaments, as well as to practices. This is the kind of “soft” cost that you won’t really notice until you really sit down and add up how much you’ve spent.

This is one that can be mitigated by teamwork – if you get together with other family’s and share the driving responsibilities, the load can be much more bearable.

Registration and Other Fees

Most sport team membership and almost every tournament or even will have a registration fee of some kind that can range from just a few dollars to much, much more.

Ideally, school activities will be less than community ones, but that is not always the case. You also may not have a choice in this if your local school don’t have much of an after-school program.

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