Trail’s KidSport chapter is off to the races in its campaign to help all kids participate in sport and is looking to another organization to expand its focus.
“To date 22-24 kids have been funded,” says KidSport coordinator Trisha Davison.
A variety of sports from hockey and swimming to gymnastics, bowling and Ninjitsu have all received funds from Trail KidSport chapter, so local kids can play.
“We’re pretty happy with that, and it’s nice to see the word has spread to more sports,” she added.
As with every new program, it is not without its growing pains and committee members have recognized certain limitations. After receiving applications that didn’t meet the requirements of the program or weren’t acknowleged by B.C. athletics as a “sport,” applicants were able to find funding through a similar program known as Jumpstart.
“We’ve been able to work very closely with Jumpstart, to help massage a few of the things that have come up now that we’ve officially launched,” said Davison.
Jumpstart is a program organized through Canadian Tire that helps families with financial barriers to participate in recreational activities.
The difference between the two is that Jumpstart has a little more leeway when it comes to recreational activities as well as funding, explained Lisa Manaigre of the Jumpstart committee.
“We can fund things like cubs and scouts, swim or dance lessons, fitness memberships or anything to do with recreation where kids want to participate,” said Manaigre.
Jumpstart gets kids in the game by covering the costs of equipment, registration and/or transportation. KidSport helps out by paying registration fees directly to the sports organization up to $200 per child.
For many families the prohibiting factor is the cost of equipment and travel. Through Jumpstart, kids can also receive up to $300 for gear and other expenses that are not directly covered by KidSport.
“We’re getting together to make sure that we have a system in place, where if there’s sports or kids that we have to deny as a result of the type of activity we can’t fund, to see if we can create a system where Jumpstart can assist,” said Davison.
The two groups will meet formally Nov. 9 to discuss further options for cooperation, so all kids can play and get a jump start on life.
“It just makes sense and ensures you’re diversifying money as much as possible throughout the community . . . but it will be nice when those two parties are clear on what each other does and how we can best manage applications and inform the public accordingly.”
Jumpstart and KidSport applications can be picked up at the Trail Aquatic Centre or phone 364-0888 for more info.