The Cost of Competing


Ward Dominick

Natalie call races down a run at Red Lodge Mountain during an alpine ski meet. Equipment for skiing, while expensive, usually lasts throughout multiple seasons.

Extracurricular activities have a big impact on parents who pay for their children to participate in sports, overall having a monthly expense of anywhere from $60 to $200.

Tennis, which is both an individual and a team sport, is relatively affordable, compared with some of the other sports. Vicky Morales, a Cody High School 2019 graduate and tennis player, explained how she pays around $200 for the essential racket needed to hit the ball. Along with the racket, students have the option to buy additional equipment such as a tennis bag, water bottle, and socks. Morales said, “We’ve had the same uniforms for more than five years. Although we don´t pay for those, we don’t get funded as much as other sports.”

Football, on the other hand, can be extremely pricey, according to Paul Lovera, a CHS junior who has been a football player since 7th grade. The equipment worn on the field can be a couple thousand dollars. The administration, however, helps cover the cost, which is essential for keeping some students a part of the team.

While CHS administration takes care of the expenses of football, the Absaroka Figure Skaters have to pay for everything.  Sophomore Olivia Whalen, an Ice Skater for Absaroka Figure Skating Club, said ¨The boot and the blade together are $2,000. I also buy new dresses each year, they individually cost around $500. Along with a $1 per minute for a private lesson with the coaches.¨ Whalen also mentioned that she has to pay for her coach to travel and help coach the skaters during their competitions. ¨Skating is all on us,¨ Whalen further stated.

Compared to figure skating cross country and outdoor track is rather inexpensive. Cross county is another sport that doesn’t bring a high price tag. Senior Drew Morris, a cross country and outdoor track runner, said runners can purchase either used track shoes for approximately $60 or a new pair which can run anywhere from $60-$100. Shoes are the only piece of apparel that isn’t covered by the administration.

Like most other sports, Cheer requires squad members to be uniform in their apparel, from shoes and warm-ups, to pom-poms and skirts. Senior cheerleader Lawren Johnson said, “Warm ups themselves are $100. To perform and practice, we all have to wear the same thing.” She also mentions she has had to buy a new pair of tennis shoes each season. She has spent about  $500 over the course of the past three years that she has been a cheerleader at CHS.

While tennis shoes aren’t required, a must-have for skiers are the skis themselves, which can be pricey. Nathan Whalen, fourth year skier on the Alpine ski team said “You buy a pair of boots and skis that will last you a couple seasons, so probably only $400 to $500 a season. For that much, you are going to be racing on just as good of equipment as anyone else.”

Like running sports, basketball and only require new shoes but soccer is different. Freshman Autumn Wilson states, “Soccer is expensive because of the equipment required.” But a good pair of basketball shoes can range from $100 to $160.

Mikayla Burichka, a Sophomore at CHS, and a dancer at Rocky Mountain School of the Arts (RMSA), said “I spend almost $200 to $300 a month. This includes our warm-ups, pointe shoes which are 90 dollars each. As dancers we have to spend also $180 on shoes a month.” There are also other dance styles that also require different shoes and attire. While dancers pay for shoes, tuition for classes, summer programs, and private lessons during the summer, RMSA dancers also have to contribute $100 to $200 each spring for their Master of Ballet and Swing into Spring productions.

Although each sport differs in season and the amount of practice a player must put in, the common factor between them all is where athletes buy the equipment necessary to participate. Because Cody is a small town, online stores have been the solution in making apparel and equipment purchases.