One Third of Canadian Hockey Parents say Hockey is not Affordable: Scotiabank Study

  • Half of Canadian hockey parents plan to spend more than $1,000 on child's hockey activities next season
  • Scotiabank wants to help make hockey more affordable

MONTREAL, April 7 /CNW/ - With approximately 577,000 Canadian youth playing minor hockey, the cost of Canada's most popular sport can dig deep into the wallets of hockey parents.  According to a recent Scotiabank study conducted by Harris/Decima, half (49 per cent) of Canadian hockey parents plan to spend more than $1,000 on their child's hockey activities next year.  Fifty-two per cent of hockey parents plan for their child's hockey expenses in advance with 90 per cent saying they have already started saving for next season.

The study also showed that of all the hockey related expenses, Canadian hockey parents will spend the most on enrollment fees ($654), followed by hockey equipment ($375) and travel and accommodations ($363).

"We know that Canadians are passionate about hockey, and we know that hockey can be expensive," said Diane Giard, Scotiabank Senior Vice-President, Quebec and Eastern Canada region.  "As Canada's Hockey Bank, Scotiabank wants to provide financial support to hockey parents so their children can continue to play the sport they love.  We've married our hockey sponsorship programs with our savings programs to ensure that with effective planning, hockey is made more accessible and affordable for all Canadians."

Each hockey season, Scotiabank's 1,024 branches across the country provide minor hockey teams in their communities with up to $1,000 collectively of funding.  In 2010, the Scotiabank Community Hockey Sponsorship Program (SCHSP) equipped 3,470 minor hockey teams across Canada with additional funding for the team, 584 teams were funded in the Bank's Quebec and Eastern Canada region.  Minor hockey teams are encouraged to visit their local Scotiabank branch to apply.

Scotiabank's partnership with Pro Hockey Life Sporting Goods Inc. also grants Bank cardholders a ten per cent discount on all regularly priced merchandise and services.  This partnership also enriches the Bank's programs that serve the minor hockey community such as awarding free head-to-toe hockey equipment to an entire team and their coaches in SCHSP, and handing out complimentary gift cards at a variety of community events that can be redeemed for hockey merchandise.

While 70 per cent of hockey parents say they participate in fundraising activities to support their child's hockey, 78 per cent say saving an extra $1,500 a year for enrollment fees and equipment would have a significant impact on making hockey more affordable.  Scotiabank's "Let the Saving Begin" initiative identifies savings strategies that will help take parents to that goal.

"Hockey equipment and accessories are more expensive now than when I was playing minor hockey. The cost of skates today can range upwards of $700," said Tessa Bonhomme, Scotiabank Hockey Ambassador and 2010 winter Olympic gold medalist.  "Parents make significant financial commitments when they invest around $2000 in any sport, and they hope their children will stick with it.  Scotiabank's programs help parents and young hockey players find ways to save while engaging teams in unique, interactive hockey programs." For more on Tessa and hockey expenses, watch this video: www.youtube.com/scotiabank.

"Setting a savings goal can be daunting, but it is achievable and we can help," continued Mme Giard. "You can make gains by having a Pre-Authorized Contribution to your savings account, using a saving program like Bank the Rest or signing your child up for a Getting There Savings Account. We want to help lift some of the financial stress so that parents can focus more on cheering for their children and enjoying the game."

Through Scotiabank's Let the Saving Begin program Canadians can get on track with their saving, investing and borrowing habits.  Let the Saving Begin encourages Canadians to:

  • Save automatically, because it works;
  • Invest for your future, because no one else will; and
  • Borrow to get ahead, not fall behind.

About the survey
The Scotiabank Kids Hockey Expenses Study was conducted among parents whose children aged 17 and under play organized community hockey.  A total of 500 completed surveys were collected online from a random sample of Harris/Decima's panel members across Canada.  The study was conducted from November 30th, 2010 to December 7th, 2010.

This was a standard panel survey among a random sample of Harris/Decima's Canadian panel members. In a fashion similar to a telephone study, email addresses from their panel were pulled at random, according to population and gender specifications, in order to make the study representative of the Canadian population by region and gender. When contacted to solicit participation, participants had no prior knowledge of the subject matter of the study. Harris/Decima controls access to the study through passwords to ensure that respondents can participate only once.

About Scotiabank
As the Official Bank of the NHL®, NHLPA®, NHL Alumni™ and the CWHL, Scotiabank is very proud to be Canada's Hockey Bank.  Scotiabank has a long tradition of supporting hockey in Canada from local teams and minor hockey associations to professional players and leagues. Through its partnerships, Scotiabank's hockey programs enrich the communities where Canadians live and work by engaging fans and players in new ways to celebrate our game.  Scotiabank supports the passion and pride Canadians feel for hockey and believes it is fundamental to helping young people learn about teamwork, camaraderie and the spirit of competition. Scotiabank's partnership with Pro Hockey Life provides exclusive in-store and online discounts to the Bank's customers, promotes advice on equipment and enhances the grassroots community programs of both companies.  Scotiabank also has partnerships with the Montreal Canadiens®, the Calgary Flames® whose home arena is the Scotiabank Saddledome, and the Ottawa Senators® whose home arena is Scotiabank Place.  For more information on Scotiabank's hockey programs visit www.scotiahockeyclub.com.

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

For further information:

Livy Feldgajer, Scotiabank Media Communications, 416-866-6203 or livy_feldgajer@scotiacapital.com