Soccer youth leagues. File photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP / TT
Soccer youth leagues. File photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP / TT

Kids leaving youth sports in Sweden

"In the ages of 13 to 16 we have the big drop out."
4:15 min

Increased competition, overly involved parents, costs and the pursuit of are forcing more and more children out of youth sports teams.

Anders Wallström at the Swedish Confederation for Sports believes that there is no easy solution to the problem.  The confederation has, howeer, set up guidelines that young people should follow to promote participation and to combat the growing drop out rate.

He admits that the fee for participation is a very real barrier for some families.

Cyril Hellman's son plays for a youth team in Stockholm and he believes the enthusiasm of some parents is also contributing factor to the increasing drop-out rate.

"Parents can, of course, become too involved and this can make it difficult and less fun for the kids – especially if the parents are pushing their child too much, he said.

Figures from the Swedish Confederation for Sports show that the number of children participating has actually declined by just over a tenth between 2004 and 2013.

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