Three cheers for KidSport!

Jul. 11, 2018

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Author: 
Stephanie Winterton

Do you remember growing up, spending hours outside playing? Playing with the neighbourhood kids until the streetlights came on?

I grew up watching my siblings and father play football, soccer, hockey, and baseball. I wanted to be just like them. I loved moving and I loved spending time being active with friends. It led me to play on many school teams and even now, as an adult, I’ve found leagues that I can continue to play recreational soccer in. It’s turned into an outlet for me, a way I socialize and a way I take care of my mental wellbeing.

Now imagine not having that as an option. Sure, you can play as a kid at recess, but what if you never have a chance to be a part of a ‘team’?

“No kid should be left on the sidelines” - That’s a powerful snippet of KidSport London’s mission statement.  Every year KidSport London allows kids to play organized sports by simply providing financial assistance to families. Because of KidSport, kids are able to reap the benefits of organized sport(s).  Not only are they being physically active, but playing organized sports has been linked to increased academic performance, self-esteem and confidence, plus it creates community.

Part of a national not-for-profit organization, KidSport London gives kids the chance to play sports by removing the financial barriers.  Kids are given the opportunity to make friends, learn teamwork and cooperation, enhance their coordination, and have fun.

"Playing football and basketball at the REP competitive level has been a life-changing experience for my boys. It has taught them about team work, dedication, social skills, and working collaboratively with other children/youth who challenge them positively to be great athletes both on and off the field/court." - Parent 

Over the years, KidSport London has helped hundreds of local children participate in team sports. This spring alone, KidSport has been able to provide funding for over 160 children. Since their doors opened in 2004, KidSport London has given more than $300,000 to families, allowing 1,479 children the opportunity to play sports in London. The need for this kind of program in London is huge; 2017 was the first year ever that they had to stop granting in October, due to a lack of funding. 

Here at LCF, we have fundholders that wholeheartedly believe in KidSport London’s mission.  Not only do fundholders like the Killeen’s believe in KidSport London, but so do our local youth. In 2017, we were able to grant $500 to KidSport London through our Acorn Fund for Youth grant stream, a pool of funds that local youth distribute within the local community.  

"I am so grateful that KidSport is available for families who can’t afford the cost for registration and equipment. Last summer my kids played soccer and I witnessed a significant, positive change in their physical activity, behavior and homework.” - Parent
 
 KidSport London is run by diligent and passionate volunteers of the London Sport Council. The volunteers collect the applications, vet them, and make the decision on which applications meet the criteria to receive financial assistance. At KidSport London, every dollar raised through fundraising goes directly to the kids.


 “All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.” – Magic Johnson