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This year’s unmissable sporting calendar has kicked off and it appears excitement levels for Brits of all ages are at fever pitch. According to new American Express research, nearly half (48 per cent) of UK kids take part in at least two sports, and one in ten (10 per cent) play five or more.
However, the research found it is still the traditional sporting endeavours that dominate the nation’s hearts and wallets.
Swimming is the most popular sport for children, with over a third (36 per cent) of parents saying their child swims at school, a sports club or simply just for fun. Hot on the heels comes football with 34 per cent of UK kids playing. Nearly one fifth (17 per cent ) of kids take part in running, with dance (15 per cent) and rugby (12 per cent) following close behind.
When it comes to financial support for their children’s sporting hobbies, parents of football fanatics spend the most per year on clothes and equipment (£80), followed by dance (£70) and rugby (£66).
The benefits of this spend are clear, with seven in ten (70 per cent) parents saying that their child enjoys participating in sport, just over half (56 per cent) cite health and fitness, and a third (34 per cent) the opportunity to spend time with friends and classmates.
Maggie Boyle, director at American Express says, '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. We have a big year of exciting sporting events ahead which are likely to inspire kids to take up new hobbies.
From rugby boots to leotards, costs can begin to add up which is why savvy spenders should use a credit card that offers cashback or rewards when shopping. By being smart with their money, parents can get something back on their spending and treat themselves while standing on the side line.
1) Take a sporting approach to the sales. Strategic thinking and marginal gains are the making of any sports star, so why not apply the same rule to shopping? Check the sales to make sure you don’t miss great offers and discounts on the sporting equipment and clothing your child needs.
2) Embrace the great outdoors. If you or a friend has a large garden this can be the perfect space for fun activities like football, athletics or volleyball for your children and their friends to play in. If other parents contribute snacks and drinks then this will keep both parents and children happy for an afternoon.
3) Score some cashback. Using a credit card that gives you cash back or rewards means you can get something back on your spending and can make a day of shopping even more enjoyable.
4) Swap sports equipment. Check in with your friends who have children with similar sporting interests to see if you can organise an equipment swap. The tennis rackets and basketballs may not be brand new, but to your child they will be an exciting new toy to try out.
5) Spruce up old gear. They may have seen better days but old equipment can look brand new with some attention. Give cricket bats a new lick of paint, give rugby boots a scrub and put some new laces in your running shoes to give them a new lease of life.