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KidSport Week: Celebrating getting kids into the game

By Don Fennell

Published 3:16 PDT, Fri September 11, 2020

The impact is immediate and positive; an opportunity to get kids off the sidelines and into the action.

KidSport Week winds up Monday (Sept. 14), a celebration of communities across the country that unite in a common goal of ensuring any child who wants to participate in sports is given the opportunity.

Under the guidance of its dedicated chair Bob Jackson, the Richmond chapter has evolved into a model for others to emulate. Last year, it distributed $126,589 to community sports associations to provide 339 kids the joys of athletic competition. And when that happens, all of Richmond benefits. Studies repeatedly show that when kids have access to sport they improve in school, become stronger leaders, help to create safer communities, ignite inclusivity and fuel healthy habits for life.

While Jackson’s efforts are instrumental in the ongoing success of the local KidSport chapter, he’s always been quick to point out the old adage: there is no ‘I’ in team. Former BC Lion Bobby Singh, who is proud citizen of the city in which he was raised, has been the honourary chair of the annual KidSport Richmond Creating Community Champions Gala (the chapter’s largest fundraiser) since its inception in 2015. Now an entrepreneur with several companies, he has inspired many of his former pro football teammates and other local sports personalities to lend their support to the cause.

Steve Valenzuela, a prominent local figure in amateur sports—particularly soccer-has also stepped forward to chair the last two galas.

And there are countless others whose dedication, unwavering service and support are paramount in the success of KidSport Richmond. That includes the Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel, and in particular its general manager Sanjeet Sadana, who have been supporting KidSport as hosts of the annual fundraising gala since it started.

In Canada, one in three families can’t afford to register their children in sport. Only seven per cent of Canadian children and youth are meeting Canada’s guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity. 

KidSport BC is a community-based program created by Sport BC in 1993. It expanded to a nationwide program that provides grants for children 18 and under to participate in a sport season of their choice.

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