Minor hockey is a large part of the culture to many londoners as well as throughout the nation. To many of these young athletes the sport is a way of life. However these kids are playing as their parents are breaking the bank just to allow the kids to have fun. In some cases the cost has been to steep for players to be put into what is known as “Canada’s game”. Keith Woods, Vice president of alliance hockey knows all to well about parents directing their kids into other sports.
“The kids have a lot more options in what they can do today than they used to and other sports programs used to be seasonal have now become [year round]”
To play hockey in Canada parents can pay as much as $6,000 for registration fees. This number is just the start before parents get to see their kids even touch the ice. Along with these fees comes additional expenses that go unnoticed. 15 year hockey dad Darren Schnitker says other fees put him back even more.
“Always budgeted maybe twenty grand throughout the year, thats gas, hotels, travel and equipment”
If parents are paying $20,000 for their kids to play hockey then what will families do that cannot afford such a steep price. This is a cause for lower numbers in registration over the years. Hockey Canada has seen gradual drops and has lost teams due to the lack of kids signing up. London is a city that has suffered from less players and dropped around 13 teams in the past 10 years according to Vice President of Alliance Hockey, Keith Woods.
Many people have questions as to why parents are willing to pay so much for their kids to play. Most of the parents will agree with hockey dad, Darren Schnitker when he says
“We wouldn’t have it any other way for our kids.”