Parents invest £3.3bn in children's sporting success


Parents invest £3.3bn in children's sporting success
Sport costs families £700 per annum as parents find themselves driving 400 miles a year transporting future Olympic gold medal winners.

Research by ING Direct suggests the total cost for parents of their offspring's activity is now £3.3 billion a year – enough to pay for a third of the London 2012 budget.

Swimming is the most popular activity for young people – with 40 per cent heading to the pool with Phelps-like aspirations. Football, cycling and dance were also firm favourites.

Parents, though, aren’t just looking at Olympic glory as a reason for their investment.

Some 43 per cent see sport as a great way to keep their children off the sofa, while 37 per cent believe it will improve academic performance.

Some 27 per cent of parents thought sports would keep their children on the straight and narrow, away from alcohol and drugs.

Just 13 per cent of parents have aspirations of the children being the next Usain Bolt, Rebecca Adlington or Chris Hoy.

ING Direct chief executive, Johan de Wit, said: “Seeing your kids succeed in sport is one of the best feelings a parent can have and it’s great that the Olympics are inspiring more and more young people to take part.

"For many parents, the costs involved in extra coaching, buying kit and ferrying the kids around can come as a shock."

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