Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/01/12 at 10:20 AM ET
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
The cost of kids’ hockey is of growing national concern, from the outdoor community rink to the offices of Hockey Canada. Registration has slipped in recent years and one estimate claims barely 10 per cent of Canadian youngsters aged 5-19 are playing organized hockey.
Canada still has more registered players (approximately 550,000) than any other country, but the United States is fast catching up, having reached the half-million mark recently. Sustaining enrolment remains a challenge in Canada, where demographic shifts and various parental concerns have kept registration numbers flat, at best.
While concern over injury understandably gets most of the attention, cost is actually a much greater worry to parents, according to a survey conducted last year by RBC. It found that the average hockey family spends $1,500 a year to be in the game. Nearly 40 per cent of those asked identified “cost” as the No.1 reason for the static state of enrolment.
“Our concern is increasingly that we are an elite sport,” says Costello, who himself came from a poor background in the Northern Ontario mining community of South Porcupine to play in the NHL.
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