CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -If you're watching the Olympics and are thinking about enrolling your child in a sport, you might want to consider time and money. Some are more expensive than others. WZZM 13's Sarah Sell took a look at the most popular Olympic sports and how much they could set you back.
"Everybody knows about gymnastics, but it comes into focus, really, once every four years," says Shane Uson, head coach at Grand Rapids Gymnastics.
There's often an increase in interest after the Olympic games, but every parent should know it's not the cheapest sport to get into. At most gyms, recreational gymnastics will cost about $50-60 a month for one hour a week. But, for the competitive gymnast, it could be anywhere from $200-$500 a month. That doesn't include personal travel to meets.
Swimming is another popular Olympic sport. Some say it's one of the more affordable sports. Although a private club will cost between $300-$500 for six months. Calvin College swim coach Dan Gelderloos says, "As far as traveling, you have to go out of state two to three times a year. So, it's minimal cost. Especially when I hear about travel soccer teams and baseball teams going out of town every weekend."
The least expensive of the Olympic sports is track and field. "I think it's very affordable," says Norm Zylstra, throwing coach at the Kentwood Track and Field Club. Their athletes compete in high school and college, but practice their technique during the off-season. It costs $185 for the summer. "For the distance runners it doesn't cost much of anything. You get out and run with teammates, your coach."
But, regardless of the cost, each of the coaches would agree that getting a child involved in sports has many benefits. Kids learn teamwork, confidence, and often times; it makes them better at other sports.