Athletes report their monthly expenses to be roughly $2,500, on average. Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of these expenses are related to daily living (shelter and other living expenses) and roughly one-third (35 per cent) is sport-related. In 1997, by comparison, an athlete’s monthly expenses for these three areas were approximately $1,46415, and in 1992 they were $1,573. More specifically, athletes report monthly sport-related expenses are nearly double that reported in 1997, living expenses are also almost double and shelter costs are 54 per cent higher. As shown, there are virtually no differences between figures reported in 1992 and 1997.
Monthly expenses generally increase with age and carding level and are higher among employed athletes (who are older). Since the average age of carded athletes is older than it was in 1992 and 1997, this may be part of the explanation for the sharp increase in sport-related expenses in 2004. Monthly living and sport-related expenses are also higher for Francophones and athletes participating in individual sports. The table below provides this information in greater detail.
The following two tables provide a summary of average income and expenses by age and carding level. Except for International team members, athletes do not generate enough total income to cover their total expenses, and even with this group the difference is only marginal. On average, athletes are required to supplement their total income with another $3,629 in order to cover all expenses for the year. Considering their sport-related income (GAA plus sport-related), reduced by their sport-related expenses, athletes largely experience a more positive financial situation. Regardless of age or carding level, athletes generally earn enough to cover all their sport-related expenses, although the youngest, developing athletes seem to be feeling the pinch more than other athletes, which is largely shouldered by parents, creating a divide in terms of access to high performance sport, between the youth with parents who can afford to subsidize their children’s sport career and those who cannot. The recently announced increase of $4,800 in athletes’ stipend, however, represents a larger percentage increase for developing athletes which may go a long way toward closing this gap.