Million-dollar boost for sport programming

SURREY – Kids in Surrey school district are getting involved in more activities, thanks to $80,000 from the Province’s new $1-million After School Sport Initiative, Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux announced today. 

“One of the most critical times to get children and youth involved in healthy activities is right after school – a time when conflicting schedules, lack of supervision, transportation and other barriers make it difficult for families to provide these opportunities,” Cadieux said. “By making physical activities more accessible in a safe, familiar place, more kids and more families will benefit from the positive health and social benefits sport provides.”

“Supervised sport helps young people achieve better physical fitness and build greater self-esteem – and have fun,” said Surrey-Tynehead MLA Dave Hayer. “I’m really pleased that Surrey students are receiving this opportunity.” 

Funded for 2010-11 from the Province’s $30-million, 2010 Sport Legacy to increase participation and excellence in sport, the After School Sport Initiative provides safe, quality sport programs for children and youth. The initiative provides better access to sport for those children and youth who typically don’t have opportunities to participate. 

Surrey school district – the first to receive support from the initiative – is using the funding to help expand a new program district staff has created and implemented through its Community-Schools Partnership program called the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Academy. This initiative provides after-school sport activities for over 1,000 kindergarten to Grade 7 students in 23 schools for four hours weekly between October 2010 and June 2011. Students learn fundamental movement skills and physical education, as well as participate in sports and enjoy a healthy snack. The Province is currently working with other B.C. communities to support After School Sport programs.

“The board is grateful to the Province, Canadian Tire Jumpstart and our many other partners for their generous support of this important program for vulnerable children and their families, and I thank district staff that worked hard to develop and establish this program in our schools,” said Surrey board of education chair Laurae McNally. “The skills, and I’m sure the enthusiasm our students will acquire though this program, will serve them well in the future, both in school and in the community.”

Surrey School District Canadian Tire Jumpstart Academy also enjoys support from strong community partnerships. Canadian Tire Jumpstart, Wonder+ Healthy Active Kids and True Sport are contributing funding. The YMCA and Sportball are providing training, supervision and staffing for the program. Other provincial sports organizations are also lending their support.

“The Canadian Tire Jumpstart Academy has been supported by our Surrey store dealers who have recognized that local students, and the community, would benefit from a program that emphasizes healthy, active living and teaches skills that can be used on and off the playing field,” said Dan Thompson, president of Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities. “It’s an unfortunate reality that one in three Canadian families cannot afford to enrol their children in organized sport and recreation activities and this program helps remove barriers by engaging students who cannot afford to participate outside of school hours.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity for provincial sport organizations to get involved with elementary school children to help them build sport skills and have fun,” said BC Rugby director of development Dave Brown. 

“We are excited to be part of this program. Many of these children have never been given the opportunity to learn sport skills before – so the energy and excitement at these sessions is amazing,” Softball BC executive director Heather Bee. “Our hope is that we can help children gain the confidence to continue to use their skills by joining a local community team”.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart is a national charitable program that helps financially disadvantaged kids participate in organized sport and recreation by covering registration, equipment and/or transportation costs. It also lends support to unique initiatives, like the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Academy, aimed at increasing access to sport and recreational programs. The organization played a key role launching the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Academy by facilitating collaboration among community partners and committing core program funding to assist the Surrey school district’s development of a comprehensive and wide reaching program. Canadian Tire Jumpstart has given more than 45,000 kids in British Columbia and over 300,000 kids across Canada the chance to play since 2005.

For more information about Surrey school district’s Canadian Tire Jumpstart Academy visit: http://www.sd36.bc.ca/general/news/2011/jumpstart.pdf

Sport, arts and culture work together to help build strong, healthy and economically vibrant communities. For more information about support by the B.C. government for sport, visit the ministry’s website at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/cscd/index.html

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