More Families Are Choosing To Pay For Club Sports

By Kate Merrill, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Kids’ sports can be expensive. And when it comes to money sports clubs are in a league of their own. At an FC Stars practice session in Lancaster dozens of soccer players stream onto the fields eager to see their teammates and get to work. This one club alone has 52 teams and as many as 700 players ranging in age from 7 to 18.

A sports club differs from your typical town team because its private. Parents pay thousands of dollars a year with the promise of more training and more experience. Unlike town teams, that usually rely on volunteers, club team coaches are paid professionals.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports

Joe Rabbit has three daughters playing for the FC Stars. He says, “I’m looking for the best schools for my kids, the best teaching for my kids and so when they take the time to play a sport I want to make the best use of their time and get them the best possible coaching.”

And its not only soccer, clubs are growing in popularity in all kinds of sports including lacrosse and hockey.

Despite skills, not everyone can afford to join a club team. Dan Lebowitz, Executive Director of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, worries the playing field is becoming too unlevel. “In a society that already has an enormity of disparities based around wealth it creates s a disparate landscape that is particularly unfair to kids.” Lebowitz goes on to say, “There will be a number of other great athletes that deserve to be involved that can’t afford to pay.”

If young athletes get through try-outs many clubs do offer some scholarships.

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