For parents of elementary school-aged kids who are just getting involved in team sports, there are many years — and costs — ahead, depending on how serious the student athletes are about the sports they choose. Expenses often include equipment, uniforms, travel, and private lessons.
Here is a rundown of some of the most expensive sports.
Horse riding This may be a case of, if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. Not only do parents pony up for private lessons, pricey equipment like horse saddles, bridles, crop, and boots — but there’s the upkeep of boarding a horse. That includes feeding, vet bills, and stall rental. Competition fees add up, too. The hefty bills can tally into the thousands each year, easily. A story in the Daily Mail notes that Bill Gates reported spent $50,000 to $75,000 each on four elite jumping horses for daughter Jennifer Gates, along with laying out $50,000 for stables and trainers.
Ice Hockey and Figure Skating If your little one takes to the ice, prepare to take a beating at the bank. Equipment alone for ice hockey can be upwards of $250. Skating lessons before learning with the stick run around $100 for one session. For beginning figure skaters, the cost of lessons runs slightly more, to $130. But if the hobby turns into a serious sport, costs for coaches, travel, and cross-training can run $1,000 to $3,000 a year.
Gymnastics Recreational sessions run around $15 to $20 per class. Competitive gymnastics sessions typically cost $150 to $300 a month, depending on the hours spent training. Gymnastic camps, like the one offered by Olympic team trainer Bela Karolyi, is $475 for one week.
Lacrosse The game is played by both girls and boys — and is the fastest-growing sport in the United States, with teams starting as young as kindergarten. For boys, the contact sport requires padding and protective gear: gloves, helmet, shoes, chest padding for the goalie, elbow pads, and shoulder pads, along with a lacrosse stick; all that can set parents back $650. The girls’ version of the game, closer to the original Native American sport, does not allow body checks. That leaves the stick, which can be as much as $250, a mouth guard, a face guard, and shoes.
Hillbilly Handfishing….. Priceless