Would you like to buy a used toupée?

Look, I don’t mind spending money on my kids’ extracurricular activities. We shell out an awful lot of money for hockey every year, and we don’t begrudge what we spend, as long as The Captain enjoys himself, learns about the sport, and stays active, engaged with his team. Football, it turns out, is nearly as expensive, and we don’t begrudge that expense either. We pay our team fees, our registration fees, our uniform rental fees, our equipment fees, etc., etc., etc.. And sure, we get a tax credit for active kids.

But that seems pretty backwards to me.

I think it’s shameful, actually, how little sport (and culture! But let’s just concentrate on sport) is fostered and supported in Canada. There are an awful lot of kids who will never have the opportunity to take part in sports because their parents simply can’t afford the registration fees. So I don’t mind paying money to our kids’ sports teams.

What picks my butt, though, is that on top of all of the fees we pay, we also have to sell crap to fundraise (by the way, if you’d like to buy some tickets for a chance to win some crap, call me) for the team. At least one book of tickets for hockey, one for football, PLUS, selling 50-50 tickets at games, organising prize raffles for tournaments, selling steak night tickets…I mean, for eff’s sake.

I suppose, but don’t know, because nobody’s ever bothered to offer this information, that this money goes to pay for the privilege of playing in an indoor rink (it probably costs a lot to keep those rinks running) or playing a game at Taylor Field. So we tithe to the organisation so that the organisation can tithe to the Greater Cause. Or something like that. So that the People can enjoy the Games in the Coliseum.

But then I think: sure, it’s cool that we get to play at Taylor field, but we’d enjoy the games (as would our kids) just as much if they were at *any* outdoor field. Our high school field, f’rinstance, which is free (which probably means “not good enough”.

Which makes me question what our registration fees are *for*. If I pay a few hundred bucks a year to our local sports association for the privilege of playing football, why am I then expected to pay *another* several hundred dollars? I mean, why not just say: “if you want to play this sport, the registration fees are X. That includes your team fees, your equipment (name badges, socks, etc), facility fees, etc.” right off the beginning? And why do I then have to do MORE fundraising throughout the year?

I figured out that for one team alone, the fees themselves will be close to $170,000. That doesn’t include the fundraising. When you multiply that amount by all the teams in the league, you’re hitting over a half million dollars. We don’t know what that’s for. And it’s not like I figure the coaches are all off driving hoopty cars with pimped out dice and beeyotches in the back. Well. Not because they get paid. Because they don’t. AFAIK, the only folks who get paid in minor sports are the officials and any support personnel associated with the facilities at which we play.

I’d also like to know what kind of funding regional minor sports get from organisations like SaskSport Because it looks like SaskSport funds, f’rinstance, Football Saskatchewan. But it doesn’t look like Football Saskatchewan supports minor football in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Estevan, etc.. Similarly, it looks like the Saskatchewan Hockey Association receives something from SaskSport, but our fees for hockey go to our local hockey association, and as far as I know, our local hockey association pays its tithes to SHA as well.

It’s a shell game, really. A shell game in which I, the dupe, am expected to keep forking over the ill-gotten gains of illicit ticket/raffle sales completed clandestinely behind water coolers, and in the alleys between offices, and over the phone with every relative I’ve never met. It’s the minor sports mafia, and I’ll tell you something: I’d much rather just have a party at my house and pass around the garbage bag for wads of cash than sit at a mall trying to convince someone to shell out five bucks a ticket to support something I’m going to spend more money on this year regardless of how many people shell out five bucks at the mall.

It doesn’t sound like it, but it’s really not the money. It’s the not knowing why I’m being asked to sell shite when I’ve already gladly forked over fees. If the fundraising was to reduce the participation costs (for me or for other families), I’d be all over that like a dirty shirt. But the problem is, I *just don’t know*.

Also, did I mention I’ve tickets to sell for a thing in which you could win some crap? I also may have some tickets for a steak dinner to offload. And, if you give me a couple of weeks, I can sell you some tickets that might guarantee you a chance to win a hockey stick to which someone has pasted a ridiculous amount of loonies.

cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.


  1. The RMF has certain requirements for their field usage. Until this year, we didn’t play at Taylor Field. We had three fields we used: Libel Field at Douglas Park, the Rams’ Practice Field, and Optimist Field on Dewdney. Libel is being redone to be an all weather field at the cost of 5.4 Million dollars, and won’t be done until next year. The funds are coming from the Provincial government, and all the RMF has been asked to raise is about 600,000. That’s what all the 50/50 and fees are for right now.

    The Rams’ field is ok, but it is hard to schedule, and Optimist Field is a frickin’ hill with the worst drainage I’ve ever seen. The idea is to get Libel running with good stands, and a media booth tower (channel 7 is thinking they may televise the games) that can be used in all weather. Which would be great.

    Oh and yeah, Football Saskatchewan does not support minor football because their mandate is to develop high school talent. Minor football, even though it includes some high school students, does not count. *shrugs*

    1. Cool. So that explains one of the four fundraising things we have to do. I wonder where the half-million dollars in registration fees goes. If the simple answer is “renting an office, paying office staff, and paying insurance”, then cool. That means that my registration process next year should be much, MUCH less frustrating.

      I don’t *mind* the fees. I don’t. I don’t mind buying 50/50s.

      I don’t like hitting up the same people over and over for *another* $20 to buy a raffle ticket or a steak night ticket or what have you.

      All that being said, after a bit of digging, I found out that Football Sask does support minor football and football at all ages, through: development/training camps; coaching and officiating courses; workshops for six-man, nine-man, twelve-man, touch, tackle, etc., for coaches, officials, and players; through developing resources for parents, players, coaches, and officials; and by providing grants for minor football *and* for high school football. Which is support in terms of meeting their mandate; just not giving cold, hard, cash to the minor football associations.

      Also-too, why doesn’t RMF play at high school fields?

        1. Sorry let me correct that: There are no high school fields in Regina that would met the requirements of safety and crowd support. The high school fields in the various ‘distant’ teams (Lumsden doesn’t qualify) are used to give them home games and usually do meet the requirements anyways.

  2. Why don’t you just ask? Contact the sports associations and just *ask* where the money is going. If they can’t tell you, ask them who *can*. A lot of these organizations are registered non-profit and should really be able to tell you where the money goes.

    When you register your child in dance and/or gymnastics, it is easy to see where the money goes because the coaches/instructors are paid as is the support staff and most of the time the gyms/studios are private organizations and you can see the owners strutting with their bling on and cruising in their luxury vehicles.

    But in the case of the minor sports you mention, I think that you have a right to know where your fees and the fundraising is going.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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