ESPOO , Finland, April 11 (UPI) -- Finland’s national sport, hockey, has become too expensive for many children to play, a report by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture said.
Parents may need to spend as much as 90,000 euros ($125,072) for their child to be a hockey player for ten years, it said.
The report said Finland’s most expensive children’s sports pastimes are horse riding and figure skating, the least being floorball (soccer on gymnasium floor) and the Finnish version of baseball. It added the cost of hobbies for children, in particular competitive hobbies, has risen by 300 percent over the past ten years.
“To a degree, the situation is unsustainable,” said report author Kari Puronaho, who added families are being priced out of their children’s pursuit of their favorite endeavors.
Kim Nurmi estimates he spends 5,000 euros ($6,948) per year on hobbies for their children. A son, 12, plays hockey, and his daughters, 6 and 16, practice dance.
Of his eldest daughter, he said, “Ida used to play the harp. A decent harp costs roughly 3,000 euros ($4,169).”