The success of Indian athletes in recent years has made many parents to believe that sports are no more a hobby but also a potential profession. In the recent years, coaching centers founded by elite sports persons have come in to picture to provide a steady platform for children who aspire sports.
Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s formal brush with the willow came in when he was 11 while PV Sindhu started playing Badminton under a coach’s guidance at the age of 8. Clearly, an early start helps children to achieve a mountain of success in their field.
Unlike higher education, which is a long term goal that affords enough time to build a corpus, sports expenses will kick in when the children are young. You will have to juggle with these expenses along with academics, as these expenses are unpredictable. “Most parents plan as they go along as they do not know when they would need the money,” says Shweta Jain, Founder, Investography. “Parents dip into their savings to fund their child’s sporting aspirations as they are not clear about the trajectory such a career will follow,” says Pankaj Mathpal, CEO, Optima Money Managers.
The parents of this generation are probably clear about their children’s future that they start saving for the fore-coming sports-related expenses of their kids from the time the kids start coaching. The parents start saving a part of their income as a Recurring Deposit, Corpus Fund, Equities, or Fixed Deposit which could help their children flourish in sports.
Ananya Budhivant (12), Rifle Shooting
Provoked by sports enthusiasts parents, Ananya Budhivant took up rifle shooting a couple of years ago. While her parents are determined to help her prosper as a sportsperson, they are yet to put a financial plan in place to fund the goal. “We have been putting aside ₹15,000 in Recurring Deposits every month for her future needs for the past seven years,” says her mother Prajakta. However, Ananya will need ₹15 lakh in five years’ time to support her rifle shooting activities, the corpus will not be sufficient for both her sports and academics expenses.
Rakin Jade Menezes (10), Football
Rishi Menezes is a proud father of another young achiever Rakin Menezes, who trained under a coach from FC Barcelona last year. “He plays football for his school and last year, received a scholarship from FC Barcelona, which runs an academy in his school,” says Menezes. The scholarship took care of most of the expenses alst year, while the ancillary costs were met out from existing savings. The Manezes are aware of the fact that enrolling his son at a good coaching center in 5 years will cost about ₹5 lakh per year but they are yet to start a savings plan.
Omar Khateeb (7), Cricket
Cricket still continues to be the most popular sport in India, drawing kids like Omar Khateeb into its fold. His father Junaid Khateeb spends about ₹5,000 monthly including coaching. “At present, coaching is not too expensive as he is young, but in the next five years, the coaching fees might go up to ₹1 lakh a year. A good quality bat costs ₹20,000 and we might have to spend ₹6,000-8,000 for the accessories,” says Junaid Khateeb.
Experts feel that along with focus on honing their kids’ sporting acumen, it is also important fro parents to address the financial aspect early on. “Financial planning for budding sportsperson is critical, but is often ignored. The sporting journey entails a host of expenses apart from coaching fees. You have to be prepared for expenses related to tournament participation, travel, sporting gear and so on,” says Deepthi Bopaiah, Executive Director, GoSports Foundation.