For a bright spot amid the financial gloom, economists might want to look at sports teams for Manhattan kids. So far, it appears the plunging Dow has had little effect on parents’ willingness to shell out a few hundred bucks to enroll their kids in little league and other spring sports.
For children in the 3rd grade and younger, enrollment at the Yorkville Athletic Association has actually increased—and there are even a few waiting lists and two new tee-ball teams—according to Arlene A. Virga, executive director.
But, she added, there was a small dip in enrollment for the older division, which covers 4th grade through high school.
“I do think it’s economy-related, but very specifically, I think that children are not being overbooked,” Virga said. “I think that what has happened is that parents are making the children make a choice.”
Over at the West Side Soccer League, about 2,200 kids had signed up by Feb. 13, the enrollment deadline for spring season, according to Dana DiPrima, the league’s commissioner.
“We are at the same level as last year,” she said.
DiPrima pointed out that the 10-week soccer season costs only $100, a rate designed to be within reach for most households. Scholarships are also available, and this spring requests were indeed up a nudge—about 3 percent—which DiPrima called “negligible.”
West Side Little League president Debbie Kling also reported that registrations were on target.
“I thought we were going to have a decrease, but then in the last two weeks of registration we ended up filling all our slots and having a wait-list,” Kling said.
Kling suspects that scholarship requests will increase while sponsorships, which come from businesses, individuals and players parents, will dip, although she had no hard numbers yet.
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