Recognizing the profound impact of sports on social, mental, and physical well-being, KidSport strives to enhance communities throughout Canada by providing access to high-quality sports programs. The program has had great success nationally – including right here in St. Albert.
“Over the past 10 years, KidSport St. Albert has provided grants for 1324 children amounting to over $330,000 for kids to participate in various local sports,” says Chris Donnelly, Director-Applications Coordinator. “In the past year partnering with Sports Central, KidSport Alberta has partnered with the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and has covered the registration fees for over 1,400 children to play hockey in Northern Alberta.”
The gains to the children, their families, and communities are far-reaching.
Donnelly explains, “The benefits of sports for children are enormous; the benefits and life skills that develop with sports carry forward into adult life. The physical activity helps keep the body and mind healthy. Playing sports enables children to create friendships that often last a lifetime. Children’s characters develop in sports. Children learn teamwork and social interaction. Competition in sports creates opportunities for children to learn from their success and failures. Children learn to adhere to the guidance of coaches & leaders, rules, teammates, and opponents. Sports help build positive self-esteem. All these benefits and skills help the child during adult life and prepares them for situations that they may encounter as an adult.”
Families are happy to share their experience, including this local testimonial:
“We just wanted to say thank you so much for supporting our son as he continues his hockey journey. He has only been in organized hockey for two years (2020-2021 was his first season, but we won't count that; due to COVID they only held practices) but he is in love with it! All he can talk and think about is hockey and he strives every day to be a better player. He has dedicated his summer to hockey dryland training in order to be in the best shape possible when he hits the ice in September. Not bad for an 11-year-old! I will keep you updated on his journey and again, thank you for this support. It means so much to us!”
Another family gives a heartbreaking, yet inspiring account:
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to you for your help! Without it, our son would not have been able to realize his dream of playing soccer again. In Ukraine he was engaged in the soccer section, but the killers came, in the face of the Russian army, and for two months we had to survive in the basement of an apartment building that was not fit for human conditions, and when we were able to survive and escape from the occupied city of Mariupol, we were able to get to Canada and to the city of St. Albert. We began to look for an opportunity to attend soccer, but unfortunately the cost (around $600) was a huge amount of money for our family. We were advised to contact you to cover at least part of the amount, which we immediately did. It was a great joy for our son when the positive answer came! He takes great pleasure in his favourite sport. Thanks to your foundation for giving positive emotions to our family.”
You can help provide results like this for families by getting involved as a donor or volunteer, or by attending KidSport St. Albert’s major golf fundraiser on September 12.