A recently released Ipsos survey revealed that the pandemic has not only impacted current access to sport and play but, at this stage in the game, has created detrimental long-term effects as well: 81 per cent of community sport organizations are worried about their ability to offer programming in 2021 and 52 per cent are potentially facing permanent closure. Additionally, parents who say the pandemic has had a strong impact on their kids’ participation in sport or recreational play are more likely to say their child is feeling lonely (78 per cent vs. 64 per cent) and finding it difficult to reduce stress and anxiety (68 per cent vs. 53 per cent), demonstrating a link between the loss of sport and mental and physical wellbeing.
So, with ongoing disruptions and stoppages to sport and play, there is a growing need to jump through hoops to build back recreational and amateur sport. “The pandemic continues to have a detrimental effect on local sport organizations, with many in our network concerned if they’ll be able to operate beyond 2021,” said Catriona Le May Doan, two-time Olympic champion and President and CEO, Sport Calgary. “With support from charitable organizations like Jumpstart, we can help safeguard the return to sport and play, ultimately helping kids, athletes and communities not simply overcome this challenge, but emerge even stronger.”
Greg Hicks, President and CEO of Canadian Tire, a longstanding supporter of Jumpstart, continues to jump through hoops to expand the company’s nationwide commitment to helping all kids have equal access to sport and recreation.
To date, the charity has hit it out of the park by providing over two million opportunities for Canadian youngsters to “get in the game” through a national network of more than 1,000 grantees and 289 local chapters. Projects currently include:
• Creating new inclusive and accessible play areas to provide more space for both organized sport and casual play.
• Helping kids overcome the financial barriers to play by disbursing Individual Child Grants.
• Launching a new volunteer program to address a growing shortage of volunteer coaches, administrators and officials.
• Expanding play from home resources for kids to get active at home.
“Simply put,” says Hicks, “our goal is to break down barriers for all children, including those with disabilities, and help eligible families in need cover the costs of registration, transportation, equipment, recreational infrastructure and programming.
For funding information, visit jumpstart.canadiantire.ca.