Sunday 15 July 2012

The real cost of sporting success

Have you got sporty kids ? Have you ever worked out how much their hobby costs ? I thought this article made interesting reading. Some of those figures are quite shocking !


Bringing up the next Lewis Hamilton or Andy Murray could cost parents an average of £27,000, a survey found yesterday.

Club subscriptions, new kit, ferrying them to and from competitions and equipment means parents of sporty children who are members of organised clubs will have to cough up £26,932.96 in their teenage years alone.

But the cost can rocket depending on what sport the child excels at – golf for example will set parents back a staggering £55,420 because of hefty petrol costs driving long distances to tournaments.

And go-karting enthusiasts eager to follow in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton will cost parents £5,072 a year which totals over £40,000 between the ages of 11-18.

The study by pub restaurant chain Chef & Brewer polled 2,000 parents of children that took part in organised sport at least three times a week.

Six in ten parents said they would hate to stand in the way of their child and their chance to excel at sport regardless of how much it cost.

But a more cautious 27 per cent said it was impossible for their offspring to attend every club meeting and competition due to money and logistics.

Taking their kids to clubs, competitions and training will set the typical parent back £50 a week with one in ten parents regularly driving more than 75 miles to regional and county matches.

Elaine Petch, mother of Olympic medal-winning gymnast Louis Smith, knows just what it takes to bring up a sporting star after travelling over 250 miles each week to take Louis to training throughout his teenage years.

Elaine, who is supporting Chef & Brewer’s Champion of Champions campaign to reward those who dedicate their lives to support future sporting talent, said: “Most parents fully get behind their children when it comes to sport – for a variety of reasons.

The obvious reason is that it keeps children fit and healthy, but secondly children who take part in team sports tend to have a wider circle of friends.

I made the effort to take Louis to a gym 26 miles from home and was paying up to £100 each week on petrol because I knew it would give him a better chance of success. But as a parent you just get on and do it for your children.

The cost isn’t the only aspect to consider, many of these parents will work full time and after a days work will have to pick kids up and drop them off at sports clubs. If you are doing this several times a week it will take its toll.”

A quarter of Mums and Dads said they would never refuse to take their kids to an activity that they wanted to attend.

Despite football being the most popular sport for British kids to play it was also one of the cheapest.

After petrol to and from competitions, new kit, membership fees and extra tuition the parent of a footballer can expect to pay £2,598 a year or £20,787 from the ages of 11-18.

Ballet and dancing enthusiasts will pay less than £20,000.

A Chef & Brewer spokeswoman added:

Parents are investing lots of their spare time and their income on their children’s chosen sports. These findings were based on one child and the sport that they have chosen to pursue, and don’t include any school sports of PE kits.

We have to spare a thought for the parents of children who take part in more than one organised sport and for those that have two, three or four sporty children.

Sport clearly dominates time in the week for a lot of families but it’s still important to make time for family occasions. We often went for a hearty meal together after training and we still make time for a family pub lunch most Sundays when we can.”

Researchers found that the typical sporting child takes part in nearly seven hours of sport a week and parents will spend £197 on membership fees alone for their kids.

And it’s mums who bear the brunt of the picking up and dropping off. But the waiting around for kids to compete in their chosen sports means parents hang around for nearly four hours a week.

Not surprisingly 41 per cent of the 2,000 parents polled said they sometimes feel like their whole life is dedicated to their kid’s hobbies.

Despite that – three quarters of parents said they would rather their child played sport than being cooped up indoors watching TV.


  1. Football
  2. Swimming
  3. Martial arts
  4. Rugby
  5. Ballet / dance
  6. Tennis
  7. Athletics
  8. Gymnastics
  9. Netball
  10. Cricket


  1. Golf £55,420
  2. Go Karting £40,580
  3. Tennis £36,805
  4. Swimming £34,232
  5. Netball £32,447
  6. Rugby £29,429
  7. Horse Rising £27,047
  8. Gymnastics £21,493
  9. Football £20,787
  10. Ballet £18,907

Here you can watch a video that features the mum of Olympic medal winning gymnast Louis Smith, talking about the sacrifices that a parent has to make to get their child to the top.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :


  1. These figures do sound astronomical but what price can you put on a childs health and happiness? Wouldn't every parent try their best to support a child who showed a true desire and talent for a sport? The only thing that would stop me if either of mine wanted to pursue a sport would be if I saw that they were contantly getting injured!

    I'm never really too fazed by the costs attached to things like this because I used to be a system developer and whenever I wanted to get funding for a new development I would put together some figures showing what it would 'cost' a company if they didn't invest. It's amazing how many millions of pounds a year can be calculated just by removing a few seconds per transaction :-)
    I'm quite good at using this 'calculate the cost' method when I don't want to do something at home's amazing how much 15 minutes washing up per day costs over the course of 10 years (over £5000) or 1 hour a day vacuuming (over £22k).... tee hee, now I've let you into my secret you know you will be saying 'I can't possibly do (insert hated task here) because over the course of 10 years that would cost us (some overblown figure) :-)

  2. LOL How sneaky !! Very clever though, I think you're definitely on to something ! xx


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