BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

May 27, 2011 09:00 ET

REPEAT-BMO Sports Poll: Majority of Parents Look to Team Sports for their Kids

- BMO study by Leger Marketing reveals that almost all parents say "fun" gets first place when choosing a sport

- Soccer is twice as popular as any other youth sport in Canada

- Health benefits and learning skills, such as responsibility and work ethic, are also top considerations

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 27, 2011) - Thousands of children take part in sports in communities across the country; with so many options available choosing the right one can be a challenge. According to a BMO Financial Group study, four in five parents (78 per cent) said they feel it's important for their child to be involved in a team sport. The study also showed that irrespective of the sport chosen, virtually all parents are looking for fun (99 per cent).

"Our study also confirmed that all Canadian parents believe in the importance of youth getting involved in team sports. Fun factor aside, this is certainly one of the key reasons why BMO supports more than 14,000 youth soccer players in hundreds of neighbourhoods across the country," said Sandy Bourne, Vice-President, Sponsorships, BMO Financial Group.

In addition to having fun, parents rated health-related benefits (97 per cent), the chance to develop life skills (96 per cent), and the opportunity to develop social skills (94 per cent) as important reasons for selecting a sport for their child.

Competitiveness ranked one of the lowest motives (42 per cent) for selecting a sport for their children in all age categories but was slightly more important as children grew older; sixteen per cent of parents with children aged 2 to 6 said it was important, versus 25 per cent for those aged 13 to 16.

The study also found:

  • As the highest ranked sport in Canada in terms of participation and favourability, families either have one child (64%), two (28%) or three (6%) children enrolled in soccer this year
  • Parents would select a team sport more often than an individual sport and most would choose soccer as the preferred sport for their kids (33% versus the next closest sport, hockey, at 16%)
  • Those living in a rural area are more likely than those in the suburbs to feel that being outdoors is an important component in choosing a sport (84 per cent vs. 74 per cent)

BMO Team of the Week

BMO recently introduced BMO Team of the Week, a national program that recognizes youth soccer teams for their achievements both on and off the field.

BMO Team of the Week acknowledges youth soccer teams (age 7-12) from coast-to-coast that display team pride, spirit, community commitment and passion for the game.

From April 1 to June 30, Canadian soccer coaches and parents can nominate their favourite youth soccer team by logging on to to enter an essay, photos or video to demonstrate why their team deserves to be the BMO Team of the Week.

"As the Bank of Soccer, BMO is committed to making a difference in the communities in which we work and live, and BMO Team of the Week aims to recognize youth in all communities who have demonstrated passion and spirit for soccer," added Ms. Bourne. "From day one, we received outstanding youth soccer team entries from across the country and look forward to receiving many more in the coming weeks."

Fifteen weekly winning teams will become finalists for the grand prize and all Canadians will be able to vote for their favourite team online beginning August 1 at

The BMO Team of the Week 2011 Champion will receive a $125,000 field refurbishment, a trip to see a Toronto FC or Vancouver Whitecaps FC home game and a $5,000 donation to their chosen charity.

About BMO and Soccer

BMO supports soccer across Canada from youth players in local neighbourhoods and communities, to the professional level. Our commitment to "The Beautiful Game" is evident at every level with our grassroots sponsorship of more than 900 youth teams nationally. The relationship continues with support of Canada's men's and women's national teams, our professional teams (Toronto FC & Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and our soccer venue title sponsorship (BMO Field).

The survey was completed on-line between Sunday, March 6th, and Sunday, March 13th, 2011 using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb. A sample of 1055 Canadians 18+, who are parents of children 2 to 16 years of age. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±3.0%, 19 times out of 20.

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