How the Government Can Make Kids' Sports More Affordable

The benefits of regular exercise are well established. Physical activity is important for everyone. Kids benefit not only immediately but also by establishing a commitment to an active lifestyle that, hopefully, stays with them into their adult years.

A recent Huffington Post story revealing that many average families are feeling pinched by the costs of their children playing organized sports was bad news. A survey indicated that one third of kids between three and 17 do not participate in any organized physical activity. Sixty one per cent of respondents cited enrollment fees as the main barrier to participation. The survey also found that parents who had children enrolled in such activities spent, on average, $1,000 a year for each child.

These statistics are even more troubling in light of a recent report by Active Healthy Kids Canada. The assessment compared our kids, in nine categories of activity, to those in 14 other countries. Canada received an overall grade of D- putting it behind nations such as Mexico, Kenya, and Nigeria. Only 7 per cent of children ages five to 11 and a scant 4 per cent of those aged 12 to 17 achieve the recommended 60 minutes of daily activity.

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