Life as a volunteer; how much does coaching cost you? (part 5)

There are thousands of us around the World that give up countless hours each week to coach our beloved sports.  Governing bodies are continually aiming to recruit more male and female coaches and rely heavily on the commitment of these coaches to volunteer and develop their sport at the grassroots levels.   In our new feature ‘Life as a Volunteer Coach’, we explore the ups and downs, the demands and the glory of being one of these unpaid sports coaches.  We asked 7 coaches from the UK and the US all kinds of questions ranging from how much time they spend coaching, what sacrifices they make in their everyday life’s and how much coaching costs them each month.  Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing their very honest answers with you all.

It would be great to hear about your experiences also, so please join in by adding your own answers in the comment boxes below!

To meet the 7 coaches sharing their stories CLICK HERE



In this blog, we asked our coaches about the expense of being a volunteer coach with this questions; How much does coaching cost you on average each month


Emma – Football, UK

Emma Marlow Profile photoEquipment wise, I have picked up quite a lot from my Dad over the years and when I first started coaching and got my goalkeeping qualification.  I did have to buy a few bits which cost £100 so that was quite a lot of money for me.  But the girls really enjoy it and I don’t see it too much of an issue because I use it myself personally as well.  Apart from that its only really travel costs.  I drive to training session which isn’t too far away so it doesn’t cause too much of an issue with time or petrol money.  I have been told that sometimes if they ask me to go to an away game etc, they can try and help to cover the travel costs.   The communication within the club is really good and everyone tries to help all the other coaches – we are all in the same situation so we all try and help each other.


Liane – Football, UK

LianeIt is just fuel costs at the moment.  Its not masses yet, the games aren’t that far away – but I would say maybe £50 for fuel, equipment wise, the club would pay for, we get given tracksuit.  I did buy one of the kids a pair of football boots for £30 the other day because their mum couldn’t afford it.  But you just don’t think of the cost or count it, you just get on with it.  I would guess at £50 a month.

I think I would be prepared to pay maybe £100 or £200 per month?  I want to give something back and you know that someone has got to coach these kids, so the cost would never drive me out of it.  I don’t think money would be the barrier, maybe time would be, but not money for me.


Robyn – Ultimate Frisbee, USA

rOBYN PHOTOIt doesn’t cost me too much.  My travel is reimbursed so I don’t have to worry about hotels or fuel fees.  Sometimes the longer trips can cost me quite a lot up front as I may have to travel separately to the team (because of work commitments) and the costs of connecting flights can be quite stressful, (we only get reimbursed twice a year after each semester).  So there are upfront costs but its not like I have to chose between flying to a tournament and eating dinner.



Wendy – Hockey, UK

WENDY RUSSELLI wouldn’t be able to put a figure on it! It is a lot though!  You’ve got to include travelling, expenses….My work are very supportive, next week the school have allowed me to have a day off and go up to England Hockey and they are still paying me for it.  But some of the equipment you have to buy yourself because there is never enough equipment! When we first started the junior club, I bought all of the equipment, which the club would eventually pay me back, but its putting that initial outlay out in the first place.  If I did get paid as a coach (I worked it out) for the amount of coaching I do at my club at the level I am at, I could get paid for a full time job!  I would like to coach full time – thats the only barrier thats stopping me coaching more.  There is no money in hockey.  Unless you go to the bigger clubs to get paid and become a full time coach.  Thats the downside of wanting to be a full time coach in a sport that relatively low paid.


Michelle – Cycling, UK

MICHELLE PAGETI am very lucky that my first club is very local and I could probably ride to or walk if needed so no expense there, The second club is a 40 min drive and this is once a week so there is a cost involved to travel, however I get free placement for my children on the sessions and this is a similar cost to the travel expenses.




Maha – Roller Derby, UK / USA

MahaAt the moment, not a lot.  It backs up on my own training, so I would have used the petrol anyway.  And they’re not going out and competing yet (probably will start this year) so there’s no “extra”.  it costs in time and head space rather than monies.