Cost of soccer and rugby jerseys 'putting parents under huge pressure'
The high price of children's sports jerseys is placing significant financial pressures on families, a popular parents group have claimed.
Ahead of this year's Rugby World Cup, the latest Irish jersey was unveiled by Paul O'Connell and teammates yesterday.
It is sure to be top of the wishlist for children and teens across the country before the competition begins in England and Wales in September.
Lifestyle Sports last night claimed their prices for the jerseys are cheaper than other stores.
The new jersey is priced by Lifestyle at €69 for adults, €67 for an older child and €59 for the junior size, with the World Cup edition of the jersey costing €80.
The World Cup shirt will be worn by players in all of upcoming World Cup matches. The new home jersey will worn in warm-up games and during next year's RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Lifestyle Sports CEO Mark Stafford said that this was an exciting time for Irish rugby and that his company are committed to making it more affordable for fans to support the Irish squad.
However, parenting group MummyPages.ie says the price of sports jerseys for children places a massive strain on families and parents can expect to spend a minimum of €40 for a child's jersey, depending on the sport.
"The thing is that adults can afford to spend that much. When it comes to children's jerseys, it's the adults that are being taken advantage of with the ridiculous prices," Laura Haugh from MummyPages.ie said.
The parenting group welcomed the reduction on offer from Lifestyle Sports and said that it was significant.
"However, I would appreciate a reduction of even more than that, particularly for the younger children," Laura told the Herald.
A comparison of children's jerseys prices from three popular sportswear stores - Lifestyle, Champion and JD Sports - found that rugby jerseys are the most expensive.
Football jerseys of differing sizes are a close second with a Liverpool jersey ranging from €51 to €63 and a Real Madrid jersey ranging from €50 to €58.
Dublin GAA jerseys are cheaper, with prices ranging from €40 to €48.
"Rugby, Premiership and GAA jerseys are all expensive and many of our children are involved with so much sport these days that they're following not just one team but many teams," Laura said.
She added that the fear of bullying of their children and obesity are the main reasons parents feel pressured into buying the expensively priced merchandise.
"At that age it's about fitting in and not feeling different and wanting to be part of the gang," she explained.