- December 1, 2023
- Updated 4:01 pm
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What is the Worst-Paying Sport in the World?
When we think of sports and athletes, we usually think of the greatest. Well-known names in numerous glam sports are always recognised across the globe. On the other hand there are plenty of sports and sports-persons who are underpaid and less recognized. Not all sports are always in the limelight, have millions of fans following them and are played 24/7! Yes, there are some drastically underpaid events in sports. Let’s take a look at some of the worst-paying sports in the world.
1. Action Sports
There are plenty of professionals in action sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing. Unfortunately, only a handful of them are able to make a decent living out of it while the majority take home much less from direct sponsorship and remuneration. Contest prize money is also lesser for such sports, especially when compared to other global sports.
Some of these sports are also less common in other parts of the world, which limits the potential for global fame and income. Cricket for instance, though popular in countries such as India and Sri Lanka, is less popular in some other parts of the world, making it difficult to establish a career in those places.
2. Professional Runners
Other than the prize money winners and the very few top earners, the vast majority of pro runners end up owning a pair of sponsored shoes and clothes — that’s it! Some just end up only having the high protein bars given during the run — a sponsorship meal. Of course, winning is not a daily deal for any professional and you can’t just have a life planned out from a single day’s luck. Not every marathon runner gets the attention of the crowd, makes money and rises to fame. Yet, it’s impossible to label the earnings of professional runners as particularly high.
3. Track and Field Athletes
At the pro level, many track and field athletes make even less than runners. If they are not sprinters or hurdlers, there is minimal chance of winning massive prizes. There are thousands of athletes who are experts in javelin throw, pole vaulting and similar events who struggle to have their ends meet.
In many countries, athletes with proven track records in their early career are supported by governments in terms of jobs and funding. However, few countries are willing to invest in dedicated training and developing the sports industry, leading to underpaid and overworked athletes.
4. Other Drastically Underpaid Sports
Some sports are completely impossible to rely on as a breadwinner. Wrestling, which is world famous, and Kabbadi, which is played among South Asian countries, are a few that come to mind. Roller Derby, Ultimate Frisbee and Lacrosse are some of the other worst-paying sports of this century. Some of them even pay less than a few thousands of dollars a year.
A huge amount of promotion and awareness is needed from professional associations, sports organizations, corporate sector, policy makers and government authorities to meet the developmental needs of these less attended sports. Sports are entertaining and build spirit and teamwork. Each sport, when reaching millions across the globe regardless of their demographic, can create tremendous opportunities for young sports enthusiasts.
Though a handful of these sports personnels can make decent income through brand endorsements, it is high time that appropriate focus is given by authorities to promoting these events among the general public. The world of sports is all about challenges. Every sporting activity and sports-person dreams of climbing the ladder and being in the limelight with fame, money and fan-followings forever.