High costs keep one-third of Canadian kids out of organized sports: study
Published Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:34AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:13PM EDT
According to a new study, one in three Canadian children are not participating in organized sports because it’s too expensive to take part.
The study, commissioned by CIBC, identified that two major barriers stopping children from participating in organized sports are enrolment fees and equipment costs.
Parents, on average, spend $953 per year for a child to participate in a sport, according to the study, and 82 per cent of those surveyed said they know a child who cannot enrol in a sport due to the cost.
CIBC announced Thursday that it is making a $1 million, multi-year pledge to the national sports-funding organization KidSport, to make grants available that will help parents cover the costs getting their children into organized sports.
"There are so many obstacles for kids not to take part in sports, and this is just taking one of those obstacles away," Canadian Olympic boxer Mary Spencer told CTV's Canada AM on Thursday.
Spencer also serves as a sports mentor in the CIBC Team Next program, in which she helps younger athletes reach their full potential.
She said it's common to see children come into her gym who'd like to learn to box, but cannot afford the registration fee or the insurance costs.
Through a confidential application process, the CIBC pledge will make grants of between $100 and $500 available for eligible families.
"The kids don't even know that it's KidSports helping, so they don't have to feel different or anything," Canadian Paralympic wheelchair racer and CIBC sports mentor Josh Cassidy told Canada AM.
Cassidy said, with Toronto set to host the 2015 Pan Am Games, he expects children will be more motivated to take part in a sport.
"This is allowing them to do just that," he said.
To learn more about the KidSport program, or to apply for financial assistance visit www.kidsportcanada.ca.