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Dealing with the Cost of Sports in the Tough Economy

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Last week, I spent an interesting hour as a guest on the "Charlotte Talks" show on Charlotte's National Public Radio station. The show was titled "Youth Sports and The Law."

One of the issues I spoke about was the lack of inclusion in youth sports today. It is becoming about the haves and the have not's. Unfortunately, our sports programs are becoming more and more elitist and exclusionary. Many children are left out because their parents cannot afford the equipment, registration fees or even the gas to drive them to and from various games, practices and tournaments.

In an average week, I communicate with hundreds, if not thousands, of sports parents. For the past six months the big issue has been how to afford sports in these tough economic times. In communities all across the country parents are struggling every day to afford youth sports activities. Some programs are shutting down. In many cases, the only way parents are able to afford the expense of sports is by cutting back on other expenses.

I am concerned about the children whose parents cannot afford to have their children participate. Many times a week I field e mails or calls from disgruntled moms and dads about the steep fees they are being charged and are questioning why they have to pay $100, $200 or more for their children play on a team whose season only runs about ten weeks.

For articles and advice on ways to handle the cost of sports for your child, click here for our Successful Parenting Channel.