Over the years sports in Canada has seen a rise in cost and a decline in participation. These three graphs will show the decline in participation over the years, the percentage of participation by income and how the percentage of participation in hockey is declining and soccer is rising.
According to a study done by Statistics Canada sports participation among children is on the decline. The study shows that participation dropped six per cent between 1992 and 2005, to 51 per cent. While there are many barriers to participating in sports, StatsCan noted that cost can be a major limitation. In 2005, two-parent households with children spent an average of $579 on sports and athletic equipment during the year. That number does not include related sports expenses such as facility rentals, transportation to sports events, club memberships and competition entry fees.
“It is not surprising that sports participation is most prevalent among children from high-income households at 68 per cent, and lowest among children from lower income households, at 44 per cent,"- A study by Statistics Canada's titled Kids' Sport report published in 2008 by Warren Clark said.
With all these costs, it's no surprise that participation in comparatively inexpensive soccer programs soared on the back of hockey's decline between 1992 and 2005 according to Statistics Canada. At KidSport in Ottawa, which offers up to $350 in registration and equipment funding for kids in low-income situations, only 13 kids received grants to play hockey in 2011 while 407 received grants for soccer.