There are only a few popular sports, such as ice hockey and equestrianism, where you can expect to spend thousands of dollars on equipment and training. Luckily, there are plenty of sports for kids and adults to get involved with that are budget friendly!
The most affordable sports to participate in are running, soccer, basketball, baseball, and swimming. This is because the costs associated with registration, equipment, travel, lesson, and camp are minimal.
Running is one of the least expensive sports to participate in because it requires minimal equipment and does not require access to facilities.
Unlike many other sports, specialised facilities are not necessary to practise running. There are no gym membership, facility, or registration fees associated with the sport as running can be done in public parks or sidewalks. All that is needed to run is a pair of running shoes which can be bought for a very affordable price. Even more specialised equipment, like athletic clothes, are not necessarily expensive.
Running can be enjoyed by people across all ages and skill levels, regardless of their financial situation, which is why it is such a popular hobby. If practised at a higher level, the competition costs associated with running are normally low as many towns offer local ‘fun runs’ and running races.
The most common sports that involve running for adolescents are track and field and cross country. The annual cost for a child to participate in track and field is $191, with cross country being slightly higher at $421.
Shoes - $20 to $30
Racing spikes - $50 to $130
Basketball is a very affordable sport to play as the cost for equipment is minimal and the sport does not require access to a facility.
The only equipment basketball involves is a ball, which can be bought for a cheap price from most local stores, and a basketball hoop. Many communities offer free access to basketball courts that can be found in local parks, meaning there is no expensive facilities to pay. The accessibility of basketball means the sport can be played by people of all skills, ages, and financial situations.
A family’s average annual spend on a child who plays basketball regularly is $427.
Shoes - $30 to $100
Ball - $8 to $30
One of the cheapest sports to start playing is soccer. It is a team sport that does not require access to a facility and involves inexpensive equipment.
All that is needed to play soccer is a ball, open space, and a goal. Basic soccer equipment, such as a ball and tennis shoes, is affordable and it is easy to improvise household objects for a goal. Even more specialised equipment, like shin guards and cleats, can be found at a reasonable price. The sport can be played in a garden, open field, or public park so there is no need to pay facility or gym membership fees.
As soccer is a youth sport, participating in local soccer leagues or pickup games is inexpensive and many offer discounts for playing recreationally or for early sign-ups. Soccer is such a popular hobby because it can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels and ages, regardless of their finances.
If a child takes soccer up as a regular sport, the average annual cost a family pays is $537.
Ball - $10 to $25
Shin guards - $10 to $20
Socks - $5 to $10
Cleats - $20 to $50
4. Baseball / Softball
Baseball, or softball, is a sport that is relatively cheap to play as it requires minimal equipment and facilities.
To play baseball recreationally, all that is needed is a ball, bat, and a glove. This equipment is sold at an affordable price and once purchased there are no additional costs. Many communities have open areas which residents can play baseball in for free or with a small fee, with some even having public baseball fields. This means that baseball can be accessed by people of all financial situations, ages, and skills.
The average annual cost a family will spend on a child who takes up baseball as a sport is $613.
Gloves - $15 to $50
Cleats - $20 to $50
Helmet - $15 to $50
Bat - $20
Although it is a slightly more expensive activity than running, basketball, soccer, and baseball, swimming is a sport that is still reasonably priced. It does not involve expensive, specialised equipment or facilities and can be enjoyed by people of all ages, skills, and financial situations.
Although swimming requires access to facilities unlike other sports, a community pool membership is reasonably priced. These memberships normally have discounts for seniors and adolescents. A swimming costume and a pair of goggles can be bought from local stores for a low cost, as well as non-essential equipment such as a swimming cap and nose clip.
The average annual cost for a child to take up swimming as a sport is $786.
Lessons - $40 to $60 per week
Costume and goggles - $30 a pair