2009 August 17

kidshortsWe’re bombarded every day with sport: Man U, fat folk dying younger, Usain Bolt, exercise preventing heart attacks … so it’s not surprising that sport clothing is one of the biggest growth areas in garment retail in the past ten years.

But if you, our your kids, take sport seriously, it can become an expensive business. Here are some tips to help you save money while staying fit:

If your child attends a school or after school sports club, talk to the coach before the new season starts and ask him or her to agree to two things: a strip colour and style that will be stuck to for three (or ideally five) years and that training sessions and ‘keep fit’ sessions, as opposed to formal matches, don’t require team kit to be worn. Two of the biggest costs for parents are when team kit changes every season and the wear and tear of having team clothing damaged during training sessions. These two agreements could halve your spending on sports kit.

Then get together with other parents and place a bulk order for sports clothing. Make sure that the person placing the order is savvy enough to negotiate the best possible discount.

Buy large quantities of clothing that all kids get through in no time. Black shorts and white T-shirts are the classics and will work for almost every sport, as well as saving ‘official’ sports clothing for actual games and tryouts.

Try and get your kids to choose sports that have complementary clothing: white polo shirts can be worn for tennis, cricket and golf, for example.

Set up a swap shop with other parents so that when your child outgrows specialist kit like printed jerseys or T-shirts with team numbers on, those items go into the pot and can be available to parents with younger children.

Get your child to pay half for specialist equipment, either in money or in completing household tasks – six week’s dog walking to help pay for a new tennis racquet, or paying half for a fantastic new warm-up hoodie can encourage them to take very good care of their kit, because they’ve made an investment in it!