LOCAL NEWS

Price of school sports makes access difficult for low-income families

Oct 18, 2022, 7:43 AM | Updated: Nov 7, 2022, 5:25 pm

WASHINGTON TERRACE, Utah — Kids can learn great life lessons by playing sports, but the price tag to participate is a major stress point for families.

Youth sports is big business with 56% of kids under the age of 17 playing on a team. On average, parents can spend over $1,000 a year, with some seeing totals as high as five figures.

It’s a sacrifice a family in Washington Terrace says is worth it.

“It has gotten progressively higher, the prices have,” Maggie Contreras-Miller said.

She crunches the numbers well before hockey season starts, saving every penny so her son and daughter can play the sport they love.

Dominic plays goalie for a traveling team while Olivia is a freshman winger.

“We’ve invested a lot,” Contreras-Miller said. “We’re talking a lot.”

Her kids have picked what’s considered one of the most expensive sports. To compete year-round in hockey, Maggie and her husband Reuben shelled out $5,000 on everything from equipment, traveling and tournament fees to summer clinics and private lessons.

“My son’s fees to play are about $1,200 just to play and be part of the organization. (For private training) We’re talking once or twice a week about an hour each time, $50 an hour,” Contreras-Miller said.

Travis Dorsch, an associate professor at Utah State University and the founder of Families in Sport Lab, said this pay-to-play system hurts kids in low-income families.

“We’ve created this system that has professionalized the athlete experience,” Dorsch said.

He believes community sports leaders should be more inclusive.

“In some ways, maybe revitalized the rec league, the in-town leagues where many parents simply can’t afford to have their kids off doing the travel league,” he said.

Helping families pay for youth activities is a good first step.

“The Weber County Youth Hockey they have scholarships that you can apply for,” Contreras-Miller said, adding her family tries to be frugal in other areas.

She said families will fundraise, carpool, pack lunches and do whatever it takes to watch their kids thrive, develop character and be part of a team.

“It’s exciting to see your kid go out there and enjoy it and be happy and we don’t have to bribe him to go to practice, so that’s always a plus,” Contreras-Miller said. “I’d say it’s worth the $5,000 and more.”

Dorsch said there’s also an unintended consequence.

Kids may feel pressure to perform because they know how much their parents are investing so they may end up enjoying the sport less, and in many cases, quit.

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Outside of the Cache County School District building. (KSL-TV)...
Madison Swenson

Box Elder, Cache County, Logan school districts on two-hour delay Tuesday

Schools in the Cache County School District will start two hours later than normal on Tuesday, Jan. 31, due to a wind chill warning in the area.
21 hours ago
(Iron County Search and Rescue/Facebook)...
Madison Swenson

Iron County authorities seeking information to help find missing man

Iron County Search and Rescue is asking for the public's help in identifying the location featured in a video that they say could lead to a missing man's whereabouts.
21 hours ago
Participants in the Discover Winter program getting ready to hit the slopes. (KSL-TV's Mark Less)...
Shelby Lofton

Utah ski industry works to bring diversity to the slopes through ‘Discover Winter’ program

A Utah ski and snowboarding group wants to bring more diversity to the sports by giving minority communities a chance to hit the slopes.
21 hours ago
An example of letting your faucet drip to prevent freezing. (KSL-TV)...
Jed Boal

Plumbers warn of frozen pipes after cold front

When it gets this cold and stays cold, some water pipes in some homes in Utah are susceptible to freezing, leading to a costly fix for Utahns.
21 hours ago
snow covered bowl in Utah mountains...
Larry D. Curtis

Utah’s Peter Sinks reaches -62 Monday; Why does it get so cold?

LOGAN, Utah — Why so cold Utah? It was cold all over the Beehive State Monday, but Peter Sinks recorded a jaw-dropping -62. The second coldest temperature ever recorded in the lower 48 states was in Utah, in the same place, a notorious cold spot 2o miles northeast of Logan. In 1985 Peter Sinks recorded […]
21 hours ago
FILE - A rock formation in Arches National Park in the Devil's Garden area (Larry D. Curtis/KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Family of woman killed by gate at Arches National Park awarded $10.2 million

A Judge awarded $10.2 million to the family and spouse of  Esther "Essie" Nakajigo, who was killed by an unsecured gate at Arches National Park in 2020. 
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Price of school sports makes access difficult for low-income families