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Abbey Nat gets on the hobby horse

Abbey National is encouraging parents to save for their children&#39s pastimes after a survey revealed British parents spend £795m a year on their children&#39s hobbies.

Almost a quarter of children regularly participate in as many as five hobbies, contrary to the image of couch potato children who only play computer games.

The most expensive individual pastime is motocross, which costs an average of £383 per year, closely followed by skiing at £352 and horse-riding at £341. At the other end of the scale, sailing costs parents £14 and climbing costs £16.

Girls&#39 hobbies are the most expensive, with the five most popular being swimming, singing, ballet, art and drama, costing an average of £473 a year in total.

The most popular boys&#39 hobbies are football, swimming, cycling, skating/skateboarding and art, costing a total of £418 a year.

Children spend an average of almost 6.5 hours a week on their hobbies. One in six parents spends between two and three hours a week taking their children to and from their hobbies while almost one in 10 spend more than seven hours a week supporting their children&#39s pastimes.

Almost half of children stick with a hobby for at least two years before moving on to another pastime.

Abbey National retail marketing director Janet Connor says: “Despite the time and money that UK parents invest in encouraging and supporting their children&#39s hobbies, a massive 78 per cent admit they do not put money aside to fund their children&#39s interests. Hopefully, these findings will raise families&#39 awareness of just how much is spent keeping their kids active and they will be able to budget for it in the future.”

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