To save money, get your child to take up running |
MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE. This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.


Lieke Braadbaart

Online Writer
Published: 14/03/2018

Exercise is beneficial at any age, but especially for kids. This may be why a whopping 48% of British kids take part in at least two sports, with 10% even playing five or more. All this activity is great, but you don't want it to break the bank.

That's why American Express has looked into the matter, and found that running is the cheapest sport for a child to take part in. They've calculated that with trainers, water bottles and running clothes, it costs an average of £44 per year to support a child who wants to run competitively.

This is closely followed by swimming, which costs an average £47 per year per child, with rugby (£66), dance (£70) and football (£80) all a bit more costly. Of these, swimming is the most popular sport, with 36% of UK parents having children who swim, while football is hot on its heels with 34% of Brits having kids that play. Running (17%), dance (15%) and rugby (12%) are all a bit less popular.

Of course, even the highest estimate of £80 is still a reasonable price to pay to see your child enjoy themselves, with 70% of kids happy to participate in sports, while 56% of parents cite the health and fitness benefits most prominently and 34% encourage it for the social aspects. "With so many parents encouraging the sporting endeavours of their children, it's clear to see the UK is a nation of sports mad families," said Maggie Boyle, director at American Express.

However, you can do certain things to keep sporting good costs in check. For instance, the people at American Express suggest tackling the sales to get a great bargain, sprucing up old gear that's still got some life in it, and paying for your shopping on a cashback credit card.

With a cashback card, you could not only get something back for your spending – provided you remember to pay back the balance as soon as possible to avoid interest – but also be secure in the knowledge that you'd be able to get your money back for faulty equipment, even if you buy it online.


Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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