Athletes and their parents pay a hefty price for sports


Emme Leong

Survey of 92 students from Sept. 5 to Sept. 8, 2017.

Emmanuella Macri

Sophomore and figure skater Ainsley Vetter of Wall is familiar with the expenses that come with full commitment to a sport.

“In my sport, athletes have to pay for their own skates, blades, competition dresses and outfits for practice. Competitions also have an entrance fee … coaches also have different rates that they charge for private lessons,” Vetter said.

For Vetter, skates can cost $400 to $500, blades cost roughly $400 and competition outfits can be as much as $1000. On top of that, competition fees cost around $175 for each event and a lesson can cost $80-$100 per hour.

On average, parents spend $671 per year per child on sports-related costs, with 21 percent of parents spending over $1,000 per year, according to TurboTax.  Taking into account that many families have several children who each wish to play more than one sport, the cost for parents of youth athletes can really add up. This means that athletically gifted children who simply can’t afford to partake in organized sports may have to miss out.

Senior Rachel Wolson of Bradley Beach, who has participated in four different sports during her life, said that although she never had to miss out on sports for monetary reasons, she has experienced the costliness of sports.

When Wolson decided to quit soccer and instead take more dance classes, she said her “mom was a little apprehensive … because it is a much more expensive sport than soccer.”

Wolson said that she believes that athletes with more money have somewhat of an advantage over those with less.

“Their parents are able to pay for personal trainers and they can have the best equipment out there,” Wolson said, though she went on to say that this “may or may not make you better at whatever the sport is.”

Vetter said she doesn’t believe having money will guarantee athletic success. Although money can certainly buy you extra classes and better equipment, when it comes down to it, spending more on sports isn’t the key.

“Being successful in sports requires hard work and dedication,” Vetter said.