Is Canada's love affair with hockey fading?

TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - There's nothing like the good ol' hockey game. But this love affair is coming at a cost to Canadian families, who are going into debt putting ice time before education for their kids. 

Results from the third annual Beyond the Blue Line survey conducted by Leger for CST Consultants Inc, one of Canada's leading RESP providers, shows Canadians continue to face financial strain, even using retirement savings, trying to give their kids the ultimate Canadian on-ice experience.

What the numbers say:

  • Two-thirds of parents (66%) personally are, or know someone who is, borrowing money or using their retirement savings to put a child in an extracurricular activity such as hockey.
  • Fewer parents (57%) believe that despite the cost of hockey, every Canadian child should have the chance to play because it is a part of growing up in Canada. That number has dropped compared to 2014 when it was 66 per cent.
  • More parents than ever (46%) say they, or someone they know, are pulling kids out of extra-curricular activities, such as hockey, because of the cost. In recent years, various media reports have indicated hockey enrollment has been declining, with cost noted as a prime factor.
  • 1 in 3 parents (30%) regret - or know someone who regrets - how much they've spent on extracurricular activities and wish they had saved more for their child's education.

"This year, according to Statistics Canada, the average university undergraduate tuition rose to almost $6,200," said Peter Lewis, Vice President, CST Consultants Inc. "The cost of post secondary education isn't going down. Parents need to find the right balance in prioritizing their scarce funds for extracurriculars and other important activities like saving for post-secondary education."

The survey found 63 per cent of Canadians believe it's important for parents to start saving for their child's post-secondary education before spending money on extra curricular activities like hockey.

Erin Wolsey is a hockey parent who balances education savings and extracurriculars for her child. 

"Our priority has always been our daughter's education," said Wolsey, "That's why we set up her RESP when she was a newborn."

"The best way for parents to prepare their child for long term success, is to make sure they are setting aside some money on a regular basis early on," said Lewis.

For full survey results, tips on how to balance the costs of hockey and education as well as insights from Canadians themselves, visit www.beyondtheblueline.ca.

The Leger survey of 1,537 Canadians was conduced October 19th to October 22, 2015, using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb.  A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

ABOUT CST

The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that has been helping families save for post-secondary education for over fifty years.  As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Foundation, CST Consultants Inc (CST) is the distributor and fund manager of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plans.

Focused exclusively on growing and protecting its planholders' savings, CST currently manages $4 billion in assets for over 280,000 Canadian families. CST boasts a sales force of 590 located across the country.

For more information about RESPs at CST, visit www.cst.org, follow us on Twitter @CSTConsultants (https://twitter.com/CSTConsultants) and like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CSTConsultants).

SOURCE CST Consultants

For further information: Media contacts: Edyta McKay, CST Corporate Communications, Cell: 416-276-5001, Edyta.mckay@cst.org; Jennifer Palisoc, CST Corporate Communications, Cell: 416-602-2849, Jennifer.palisoc@cst.org

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