Australia is a nation that loves its sports, and this has been passed down through generations. Commitment to sporting activities continues to be a big part of Aussie children’s lives and drives enthusiasm, ambition, and passion to succeed and improve. Yet, often overlooked are the individuals who facilitate these activities – the parents.
The Australian Active Kids Report explores the hidden sacrifices that Australian parents make to help facilitate their children’s sporting involvement. The majority of parents devote a lot of time and money supporting their children’s competitive ambitions, enabling them to play with their friends and encouraging them to lead active lifestyles. But what do parents really think about spending over one billion hours combined in driving their kids to training sessions and being involved in the games, and over $2.09 billion a year to ensure their children stay committed to their sporting activities?
Sports clubs or social club?
Parents spend a staggering 418 million hours each year waiting on the sidelines of sporting games and practices which is an average of 295 hours per year, per family. Regardless of this time, the research shows that the vast majority of parents (85.6%) acknowledge that sporting activities are an important part of their children’s lives, with nine in ten parents (91.6%) agreeing that they have fun being on the sideline.
Three-quarters of parents are their children’s biggest fans, spending the time cheering on their little ones at games and practices (75.4%). For other parents, the hours are spent socialising, with four in five stating that they use the time to catch up with other parents (84.1%) whilst a third of Aussie parents spend the time game-side to get on social media (30.7%).
Our biggest cheerleaders through thick and thin
From prepping their post-game lunch, to washing the team’s dirty uniforms, involvement in children’s sporting activities is often a full family affair. Fathers are more likely than mothers to say they are happy to get involved in these activities (65.8% vs 51.4%). Mothers are more likely than fathers to admit that whilst they are happy to get involved in their children’s sporting activities, it can get overwhelming or tiring because of continuous travel and time sacrifices (40.3% vs 29.1%). Similarly, families who agree to laundry duty for their children’s sports teams complete 3.5 million loads each year!
Whether their children become the sporting hero of a generation or play for fun, Aussie parents will never feel that their sacrifices were made in vain. Instead, it is evident through the research that parents are willing to make the time and effort because of the enjoyment that participating in sports brings their children.
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