Toronto Summit Explores Ways to Get more 4-8 year olds on ice
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09-11-2009, 04:24 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: GTA, Ontario, Canada
The cost of hockey is certainly prohibitive to many families.
Both my daughters are playing this season, one in her first year of rep/travel and one in houseleague.
The cost for house league was $350 (including $50 early bird signup discount), but that is only for one game a week and then a practice every other week. Plus a mini playoff at the end of the season. Now that might not seem too bad, but then I had to buy her gear, which even for lower range stuff cost probably another $500-$600. Chances are half of it will have to be replaced each year also as she grows.
The other daughter is in her first season of rep and the basic team fees for that are $1400, plus $200 for jerseys, socks and tracksuit. Plus travel and hotel costs for tournaments etc.
Plus of course since rep is highly competitive and everyone is pushing to make the teams each year most of the kids do spring 3 on 3, extra powerskating, pre tryout skills camps, summer hockey camps etc. These are usually not compulsory, but there is always an unspoken pressure to keep up with the other kids. Even a few of those can easily double the cost of a season of hockey.
Plus since its rep the equipment tends to be more expensive and gets worn out quicker.
It is easy to see why some families can't/won't try hockey. Having said that I love to watch my kids play, and there is nowhere I would rather be most of the time than at some rink or another watching them play, compete and have fun.
Many other sports such as figure skating, gymnastics, swimming or even dance are just as expensive at the competitive level, but they can all be tried at a beginner level for low cost.
Sports like soccer and basketball are probably the ones that offer relatively low costs even at the competitive levels.
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