We should all be encouraged to be more active and getting involved in sports is the best way to do so in a manner which is fun, inclusive and will improve our social lives and general outlook as well as our bodies. As with most hobbies though, taking up a sport and taking it seriously can be exceptionally expensive. Here we’ll be providing you with a few tips on how to throw yourself completely into the wonderful world of sport without leaving your wallet lighter than a shuttlecock.
Choose a Cheap Sport
Ok let’s start with the obvious one but it makes sense. Golf and Tennis (for example) are potentially challenging, interesting sports but the costs can be quite excessive. First you’ll need to buy a set of clubs or a racquet and then you’ll need to find a club and take out a monthly or yearly membership. Football however can be played wherever there is an empty space and a ball and Swimmers can train in any stretch of water large enough to hold them (well, maybe not in the bath). Before you make a final decision on your sport of choice, make a list of all the possible expenses and ask yourself if you can really afford it. If not then try something else! The sporting world is your oyster.
Go Second Hand
Yes I know there are probably a few lingering stigmas floating around about buying second hand sporting equipment (especially clothing), but there really shouldn’t be as long as it’s in good condition. Any form of sporting gear or equipment will decrease in value over time, this is a fact. It will decrease even further in value if it’s been used extensively. But most sports equipment was designed to be used often and rigorously, so chances are that just because you’re buying last season’s football kit or second hand weights from a gym that recently closed down, that doesn’t mean you’re looking at lesser quality. Of course, it’s understandable that you might balk at the idea of wearing second hand cycling gear (which is very close and will have absorbed a LOT of sweat) or second hand jogging bottoms, but a second hand cricket bat is still a cricket bat. Second hand gear is especially useful when it comes to young sports fans, as they can and will grow out of their kit very quickly, so spending hundreds on something they might have grown out of in 6 months is surely not a wise move?
By which we of course mean, “Shop online”. Of course the high street sports stores might be able to offer you dramatic price cuts on equipment and clothing that nobody wants, but if you want a fair price on quality gear, the internet should be your first port of call. Those who really care about both price and quality (and don’t wish to be disappointed by either) could visit SportPursuit and sign up for free. They will find a variety of offers on bespoke items, as well as gear and clothing from some top brands, with which they have exclusive partnerships. There are also online stores such as Maudesport and the Fitness Superstore, as well as catalogue stores like Argos that will have their own deals. The best advice would be to shop around and if you find one specific piece of gear or equipment that you want, see if you can get it for a better price elsewhere before you commit. It’s literally as easy as clicking a button.
Have you ever been bowling? Chances are that at some point in your life you probably have and you’ll probably have noticed that very few people tend to take their own bowling shoes. Borrowing equipment might not seem particularly classy, but look at it this way; if you borrow the majority of your equipment when you first get into the sport, you’ll get better over time and have saved enough money to buy some really great equipment! Purchasing all your equipment right off the bat (no pun intended) however, means that you’ll no doubt outgrow your ‘beginner’ equipment before long, so you’ll be left with a bunch of superfluous gear.
Maintain Your Gear
Depending on how common your chosen sport is, there should be a shop or home-based professional locally who will be able to help you maintain your sports equipment. Much as with a musical instrument, expensive sporting equipment requires constant care and maintenance. Maintaining perfectly good gear is generally a lot less expensive than forking out on new gear, plus you might form something of a sentimental bond with your equipment after a while (I myself name all of my tennis racquets).
We’ll end with an old one, but a good one. More often than not you do get what you pay for, so do your research and make sure you buy quality because quality lasts!