WINNIPEG, July 23, 2012 /CNW/ - It's not just about going for the gold. Rather than focusing on creating
the next bumper crop of Canada's elite athletes, a majority (75 per
cent) of parents with children in sports are investing their time and
hard-earned money to foster leadership qualities, discipline and team
building skills, according to the latest research by Investors Group.
One third of parents (31 per cent) with children involved in athletic
activities feel their kids have a recognized talent or skill that
should be developed or have potential for more. Twenty-one per cent
have their offspring enrolled in sports because all of their children's
friends are actively involved.
"Whether you are raising an elite athlete, or view athletic activity as
an important building block in character development, the end goal is
the same," says sports parent and Investors Group Regional Director
Daniel Collison. "Canadian parents are investing in the future success
of their children. Along the way, both parents and children will need
advice, support and a game plan to manage the effort involved."
Time and money
Twenty-eight per cent of parents say the time required to support their
kids' athletic activities is the greatest contributor to stress while
26 per cent cite the burden of financial demands. Emotional (11 per
cent), physical (10 per cent) and relationship demands (7 per cent)
were also cited as stress factors.
The survey reveals that Canadian parents invest an average of $1,658 per
year on their children's athletic pursuits. Forty-seven per cent spend
$1,000 or more on requisite lessons, equipment, camps, tournaments,
babysitters and other expenses involved in supporting athletic
extracurricular activities. While half of parents (51 per cent) say
they have not made sacrifices as a result of these financial
commitments, nearly four-in-ten (38 per cent) parents say they forgo
personal expenditures on shopping and entertainment and 19 per cent
have given up family vacations.
"Fifty-six per cent of parents with children involved in athletic
activities have two or more children involved in recreation or
competitive sports," notes Collison. "For many, monthly expenditures
may be much higher than the average. It's important that parents
optimize their budgets and take full advantage of all the resources and
benefits available to them, including tax credits."
Investment of real dollars is only part of the price tag of having kids
in sports. Attending games, practices, classes, chauffeuring,
fundraising and other means of support involves an average parental
commitment of 15 hours per month. Three-in-ten (31 per cent) spend even
more time per month.
"In addition to hard dollar costs, there are a myriad of hidden costs
that families need to consider," says Collison. "Combined, they can
result in a bigger investment than expected with longer-term impact on
family finances and overall quality of family life. Parents need to be
cautious about losing sight of their overall financial well-being by
These activities also have an impact in the workplace. Eighty per cent
of parents whose support resulted in losing time at work say they spend
anywhere up to ten hours away from work per month to accommodate their
children's athletic interests. For 20 per cent of parents who lost
time, this translates into up to five per cent loss of income; for
another seven per cent of parents, it is as much as 15 per cent loss of
Lessons from the pros
Many of the sentiments of parents echo those expressed by Canada's elite
athletes. The results of a recently released Investors Group poll of 183 elite Canadian athletes reveals that demands on time (69 per
cent) and money (77 per cent) were the most stressful aspects of
training for their career.
According to the survey, Canada's athletic champions identified
determination (99 per cent) and being disciplined in following a plan
(95 per cent) as the most important factors that helped them achieve
"Developing talent and leadership involves a tangible financial
investment, but also commitment, focus and planning," says Collison.
"Aspiring Canadian athletes can take their cue from some of Canada's
best to achieve their own athletic milestones."
More media information, including detailed regional highlights,
infographics and survey highlights, is available on the Investors Group Media Room.
About the Survey Methodology
This poll was conducted by Harris/Decima, online, between June 25 and
July 1 for a total of 1,003 completed surveys. Data were weighted by
age, region and gender to reflect census profile.
About Investors Group
Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering
personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of more
than 4,500 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an
exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles,
Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage
and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM
Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of
Canada's premier financial services companies with over $118 billion as
of June 30, 2012, in total assets under management.
SOURCE: Investors Group Inc.
For further information:
McKenna Wild or Yuri Park
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