Well worth the money

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, July 30, 2009

When it comes to involving young athletes in recreational sports during the summer, parents will fork out the money to let their kids play, no matter the cost.

“If it’s something I see a potential for them to grow in and maybe one day go somewhere with it, than it’s not a burden,” Candace Ward Hudson said. Hudson is the mother of Madison Ward, who plays on the 9-to-10-year-old Rockies Little League team, and Zachary, who plays on a Babe Ruth baseball team.

Combined, Hudson pays $60 in registration fees for her sons to play in the city’s recreational program. The fee includes a t-shirt and baseball cap. The only expenses Hudson has to pay for are buying socks, belts and pants for her children, which she says runs around $40 per child.

“If you have two children they do give you a $5 apiece discount, which helps,” she said. “As far as the last 10 years, it hasn’t been a burden.”

In addition, Hudson’s sons also have played on the All-Star teams for their divisions, and that costs $25 per child.

“Nine times out of 10, everybody’s already got a belt or have the socks, depending on what team they’ve played on,” Hudson said. “Most parents are going to buy their child another pair of pants because it’s something new and you want them to look fresh for the team.”

In total, Hudson said she pays between $150-$300 per summer.

For Preston Weaver, father of Brewers Babe Ruth player Hunter Weaver, the costs don’t outweigh what recreational sports can do for kids, including his son.

“I think it’s a great thing for everybody,” Weaver said. “It keeps the kids out of trouble. We try to practice three times a week and nights.

“I’ve coached for the last five or six years,” he said. “I coach All-Stars too. It’s not too expensive, but to me, I think it’s a real good thing.”

Kathy Teel, who has twin daughters Kayla and Kimberly who play in the county’s softball league, has had to pay approximately $200 apiece.

“It’s worth it,” Teel said. “It keeps them involved and keeps them busy and in shape.”

In addition to playing recreational ball, both Kayla and Kimberly also play on the Straughn High School softball team.